WorldWideScience

Sample records for planet earth space

  1. Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petigura, Erik A; Howard, Andrew W; Marcy, Geoffrey W

    2013-11-26

    Determining whether Earth-like planets are common or rare looms as a touchstone in the question of life in the universe. We searched for Earth-size planets that cross in front of their host stars by examining the brightness measurements of 42,000 stars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kepler mission. We found 603 planets, including 10 that are Earth size ( ) and receive comparable levels of stellar energy to that of Earth (1 - 2 R[Symbol: see text] ). We account for Kepler's imperfect detectability of such planets by injecting synthetic planet-caused dimmings into the Kepler brightness measurements and recording the fraction detected. We find that 11 ± 4% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet receiving between one and four times the stellar intensity as Earth. We also find that the occurrence of Earth-size planets is constant with increasing orbital period (P), within equal intervals of logP up to ~200 d. Extrapolating, one finds 5.7(-2.2)(+1.7)% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet with orbital periods of 200-400 d.

  2. Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars

    OpenAIRE

    Petigura, Erik A.; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    2013-01-01

    Determining whether Earth-like planets are common or rare looms as a touchstone in the question of life in the universe. We searched for Earth-size planets that cross in front of their host stars by examining the brightness measurements of 42,000 stars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kepler mission. We found 603 planets, including 10 that are Earth size (1-2 Earth-radii) and receive comparable levels of stellar energy to that of Earth (within a factor of four). We account...

  3. Do Inner Planets Modulate the Space Environment of the Earth?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung-Hee Kim

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Variabilities in the solar wind cause disturbances throughout the heliosphere on all temporal and spatial scales, which leads to changeable space weather. As a view of space weather forecasting, in particular, it is important to know direct and indirect causes modulating the space environment near the Earth in advance. Recently, there are discussions on a role of the interaction of the solar wind with Mercury in affecting the solar wind velocity in the Earth’s neighborhood during its inferior conjunctions. In this study we investigate a question of whether other parameters describing the space environment near the Earth are modulated by the inner planets’ wake, by examining whether the interplanetary magnetic field and the proton density in the solar wind observed by the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE spacecraft, and the geomagnetic field via the Dst index and Auroral Electrojet index (AE index are dependent upon the relative position of the inner planets. We find there are indeed apparent variations. For example, the mean variations of the geomagnetic fields measured in the Earth’s neighborhood apparently have varied with a timescale of about 10 to 25 days. Those variations in the parameters we have studied, however, turn out to be a part of random fluctuations and have nothing to do with the relative position of inner planets. Moreover, it is found that variations of the proton density in the solar wind, the Dst index, and the AE index are distributed with the Gaussian distribution. Finally, we point out that some of properties in the behavior of the random fluctuation are to be studied.

  4. A septet of Earth-sized planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triaud, Amaury; SPECULOOS Team; TRAPPIST-1 Team

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the astronomical requirements for life to emerge, and to persist, on a planet is one of the most important and exciting scientific endeavours, yet without empirical answers. To resolve this, multiple planets whose sizes and surface temperatures are similar to the Earth, need to be discovered. Those planets also need to possess properties enabling detailed atmospheric characterisation with forthcoming facilities, from which chemical traces produced by biological activity can in principle be identified.I will describe a dedicated search for such planets called SPECULOOS. Our first detection is the TRAPPIST-1 system. Intensive ground-based and space-based observations have revealed that at least seven planets populate this system. We measured their radii and obtained first estimates of their masses thanks to transit-timing variations. I will describe our on-going observational efforts aiming to reduce our uncertainties on the planet properties. The incident flux on the planets ranges from Mercury to Ceres, comprising the Earth, and permitting climatic comparisons between each of those worlds such as is not possible within our Solar system. All seven planets have the potential to harbour liquid water on at least a fraction of their surfaces, given some atmospheric and geological conditions.

  5. Earth observations during Space Shuttle mission STS-45 Mission to Planet Earth - March 24-April 2, 1992

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitts, David E.; Helfert, Michael R.; Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Mckay, Mary F.; Whitehead, Victor S.; Amsbury, David L.; Bremer, Jeffrey; Ackleson, Steven G.; Evans, Cynthia A.; Wilkinson, M. J.

    1992-01-01

    A description is presented of the activities and results of the Space Shuttle mission STS-45, known as the Mission to Planet Earth. Observations of Mount St. Helens, Manila Bay and Mt. Pinatubo, the Great Salt Lake, the Aral Sea, and the Siberian cities of Troitsk and Kuybyshev are examined. The geological features and effects of human activity seen in photographs of these areas are pointed out.

  6. An Earth-sized planet with an Earth-like density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepe, Francesco; Cameron, Andrew Collier; Latham, David W; Molinari, Emilio; Udry, Stéphane; Bonomo, Aldo S; Buchhave, Lars A; Charbonneau, David; Cosentino, Rosario; Dressing, Courtney D; Dumusque, Xavier; Figueira, Pedro; Fiorenzano, Aldo F M; Gettel, Sara; Harutyunyan, Avet; Haywood, Raphaëlle D; Horne, Keith; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Lovis, Christophe; Malavolta, Luca; Mayor, Michel; Micela, Giusi; Motalebi, Fatemeh; Nascimbeni, Valerio; Phillips, David; Piotto, Giampaolo; Pollacco, Don; Queloz, Didier; Rice, Ken; Sasselov, Dimitar; Ségransan, Damien; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Szentgyorgyi, Andrew; Watson, Christopher A

    2013-11-21

    Recent analyses of data from the NASA Kepler spacecraft have established that planets with radii within 25 per cent of the Earth's (R Earth symbol) are commonplace throughout the Galaxy, orbiting at least 16.5 per cent of Sun-like stars. Because these studies were sensitive to the sizes of the planets but not their masses, the question remains whether these Earth-sized planets are indeed similar to the Earth in bulk composition. The smallest planets for which masses have been accurately determined are Kepler-10b (1.42 R Earth symbol) and Kepler-36b (1.49 R Earth symbol), which are both significantly larger than the Earth. Recently, the planet Kepler-78b was discovered and found to have a radius of only 1.16 R Earth symbol. Here we report that the mass of this planet is 1.86 Earth masses. The resulting mean density of the planet is 5.57 g cm(-3), which is similar to that of the Earth and implies a composition of iron and rock.

  7. The search for life on Earth and other planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Michael

    2012-04-10

    As the NASA rover Curiosity approaches Mars on its quest to look for signs of past or present life there and sophisticated instruments like the space telescopes Kepler and CoRoT keep discovering additional, more Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, science faces the question of how to spot life on other planets. Even here on Earth biotopes remain to be discovered and explored.

  8. Planetary protection protecting earth and planets against alien microbes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leys, N.

    2006-01-01

    Protecting Earth and planets against the invasion of 'alien life forms' is not military science fiction, but it is the peaceful daily job of engineers and scientists of space agencies. 'Planetary Protection' is preventing microbial contamination of both the target planet and the Earth when sending robots on interplanetary space mission. It is important to preserve the 'natural' conditions of other planets and to not bring with robots 'earthly microbes' (forward contamination) when looking for 'spores of extra terrestrial life'. The Earth and its biosphere must be protected from potential extraterrestrial biological contamination when returning samples of other planets to the Earth (backward contamination). The NASA-Caltech Laboratory for Planetary Protection of Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) (California, USA) routinely monitors and characterizes the microbes of NASA spacecraft assembly rooms and space robots prior to flight. They have repeatedly isolated Cupriavidus and Ralstonia strains pre-flight from spacecraft assembly rooms (floor and air) and surfaces of space robots such as the Mars Odyssey Orbiter (La Duc et al., 2003). Cupriavidus and Ralstonia strains have also been found in-flight, in ISS cooling water and Shuttle drinking water (Venkateswaran et al., Pyle et al., Ott et al., all unpublished). The main objective of this study is to characterise the Cupriavidus and Ralstonia strains isolated at JPL and compare them to the Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34T model strain, isolated from a Belgian contaminated soil and studied since 25 years at SCK-CEN and to enhance our knowledge by performing additional tests at JPL and gathering information regarding the environmental conditions and the cleaning and isolation methods used in such spacecraft assembling facilities

  9. Our Mission to Planet Earth: A guide to teaching Earth system science

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    Volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, floods, and El Nino are naturally occurring events over which humans have no control. But can human activities cause additional environmental change? Can scientists predict the global impacts of increased levels of pollutants in the atmosphere? Will the planet warm because increased levels of greenhouse gases, produced by the burning of fossil fuels, trap heat and prevent it from being radiated back into space? Will the polar ice cap melt, causing massive coastal flooding? Have humans initiated wholesale climatic change? These are difficult questions, with grave implications. Predicting global change and understanding the relationships among earth's components have increased in priority for the nation. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), along with many other government agencies, has initiated long-term studies of earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land masses using observations from satellite, balloon, and aircraft-borne instruments. NASA calls its research program Mission to Planet Earth. Because NASA can place scientific instruments far above earth's surface, the program allows scientists to explore earth's components and their interactions on a global scale.

  10. IMPACT OF η{sub Earth} ON THE CAPABILITIES OF AFFORDABLE SPACE MISSIONS TO DETECT BIOSIGNATURES ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Léger, Alain [IAS, Univ. Paris-Sud, Orsay (France); Defrère, Denis [Steward Observatory, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Malbet, Fabien [UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), UMR 5274, BP 53, F-38041 Grenoble cedex 9 (France); Labadie, Lucas [I. Physikalisches Institut der Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, D-50937 Cologne (Germany); Absil, Olivier, E-mail: Alain.Leger@ias.u-psud.fr [Département d’Astrophysique, Géophysique and Océanographie, Université de Liège, 17 Allée du Six Août, B-4000 Liège (Belgium)

    2015-08-01

    We present an analytic model to estimate the capabilities of space missions dedicated to the search for biosignatures in the atmosphere of rocky planets located in the habitable zone of nearby stars. Relations between performance and mission parameters, such as mirror diameter, distance to targets, and radius of planets, are obtained. Two types of instruments are considered: coronagraphs observing in the visible, and nulling interferometers in the thermal infrared. Missions considered are: single-pupil coronagraphs with a 2.4 m primary mirror, and formation-flying interferometers with 4 × 0.75 m collecting mirrors. The numbers of accessible planets are calculated as a function of η{sub Earth}. When Kepler gives its final estimation for η{sub Earth}, the model will permit a precise assessment of the potential of each instrument. Based on current estimations, η{sub Earth} = 10% around FGK stars and 50% around M stars, the coronagraph could study in spectroscopy only ∼1.5 relevant planets, and the interferometer ∼14.0. These numbers are obtained under the major hypothesis that the exozodiacal light around the target stars is low enough for each instrument. In both cases, a prior detection of planets is assumed and a target list established. For the long-term future, building both types of spectroscopic instruments, and using them on the same targets, will be the optimal solution because they provide complementary information. But as a first affordable space mission, the interferometer looks the more promising in terms of biosignature harvest.

  11. An Earth-sized planet with an Earth-like density

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pepe, Francesco; Cameron, Andrew Collier; Latham, David W.

    2013-01-01

    significantly larger than the Earth. Recently, the planet Kepler-78b was discovered(8) and found to have a radius of only 1.16R(circle plus). Here we report that the mass of this planet is 1.86 Earth masses. The resulting mean density of the planet is 5.57 g cm(-3), which is similar to that of the Earth...

  12. Mission to Planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, G.S.; Backlund, P.W.

    1992-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment. 8 refs

  13. Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilford, Shelby G.; Asrar, Ghassem; Backlund, Peter W.

    1994-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the Earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic Earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the Earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the Earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment.

  14. The Earth as a Distant Planet A Rosetta Stone for the Search of Earth-Like Worlds

    CERN Document Server

    Vázquez, M; Montañés Rodríguez, P

    2010-01-01

    Is the Earth, in some way, special? Or is our planet but one of the millions of other inhabited planets within our galaxy? This is an exciting time to be asking this old question, because for the first time in history, the answer is within reach. In The Earth as a Distant Planet, the authors set themselves as external observers of our Solar System from an astronomical distance. From that perspective, the authors describe how the Earth, the third planet in distance to the central star, can be catalogued as having its own unique features and as capable of sustaining life. The knowledge gained from this original perspective is then applied to the ongoing search for planets outside the solar system, or exoplanets. Since the discovery in 1992 of the first exoplanet, the number of known planets has increased exponentially. Ambitious space missions are already being designed for the characterization of their atmospheres and to explore the possibility that they host life. The exploration of Earth and the rest of the ...

  15. Electromagnetic behaviour of the earth and planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCarthy, A.J.

    2002-01-01

    Forecast problems of global warming, rising sea-levels, UV enhancement, and solar disruptions of power grids and satellite communications, have been widely discussed. Added to these calamities is the steady decay of the Earth's magnetic radiation shield against high energy particles. A system of solar-induced aperiodic electromagnetic resonances, referred to here as the Debye resonances, is resurrected as the preferred basis for describing the electromagnetic behaviour of the Earth and planets. Debye's two basic solutions to the spherical vector wave equation provide foundations for electromagnetic modes of the terrestrial and gaseous planets respectively in contrast with the separate electric and magnetic approaches usually taken. For those engaged in radiation protection issues, this paper provides the first published account of how the Sun apparently triggers an Earth magnetic shield against its own harmful radiation. Disturbances from the Sun - which are random in terms of polarity, polarisation, amplitude, and occurrence - are considered here to trigger the Debye modes and generate observed planetary electric and magnetic fields. Snapping or reconnection of solar or interplanetary field lines, acting together with the newly conceived magnetospheric transmission lines of recent literature, is suspected as the excitation mechanism. Virtual replacement of free space by plasma, places the electromagnetic behaviour of the Earth and planets under greatly enhanced control from the Sun. From a radiation protection viewpoint, modal theory based on solar-terrestrial coupling provides a new insight into the origin of the Earth's magnetic radiation shield, greater understanding of which is essential to development of global cosmic radiation protection strategies. Should man-made influences unduly increase conductivities of the Earth's magnetosphere, planet Earth could be left with no magnetic radiation shield whatsoever. Copyright (2002) Australasian Radiation Protection

  16. THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF EARTH ANALOG PLANETS ORBITING SUN-LIKE STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Catanzarite, Joseph; Shao, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Kepler is a space telescope that searches Sun-like stars for planets. Its major goal is to determine η Earth , the fraction of Sun-like stars that have planets like Earth. When a planet 'transits' or moves in front of a star, Kepler can measure the concomitant dimming of the starlight. From analysis of the first four months of those measurements for over 150,000 stars, Kepler's Science Team has determined sizes, surface temperatures, orbit sizes, and periods for over a thousand new planet candidates. In this paper, we characterize the period probability distribution function of the super-Earth and Neptune planet candidates with periods up to 132 days, and find three distinct period regimes. For candidates with periods below 3 days, the density increases sharply with increasing period; for periods between 3 and 30 days, the density rises more gradually with increasing period, and for periods longer than 30 days, the density drops gradually with increasing period. We estimate that 1%-3% of stars like the Sun are expected to have Earth analog planets, based on the Kepler data release of 2011 February. This estimate of η Earth is based on extrapolation from a fiducial subsample of the Kepler planet candidates that we chose to be nominally 'complete' (i.e., no missed detections) to the realm of the Earth-like planets, by means of simple power-law models. The accuracy of the extrapolation will improve as more data from the Kepler mission are folded in. Accurate knowledge of η Earth is essential for the planning of future missions that will image and take spectra of Earth-like planets. Our result that Earths are relatively scarce means that a substantial effort will be needed to identify suitable target stars prior to these future missions.

  17. Harvesting space for a greener earth

    CERN Document Server

    Matloff, Greg; Johnson, Les

    2014-01-01

    What was our planet like in years past? How has our civilization affected Earth and its ecology? Harvesting Space for a Greener Planet, the Second Edition of Paradise Regained: The Regreening of the Earth, begins by discussing these questions, and then generates a scenario for the restoration of Earth. It introduces new and innovative ideas on how we could use the Solar System and its resources for terrestrial benefit. The environmental challenges that face us today cannot be resolved by conservation and current technologies alone. Harvesting Space highlights the risk of humankind’s future extinction from environmental degradation. Population growth, global climate change, and maintaining sustainability of habitats for wildlife are all considered, among other issues. Rather than losing heart, we need to realize that the solutions to these problems lie in being good stewards of the planet and in the development of space. Not only will the solutions offered here avert a crisis, they will also provide the basi...

  18. The Runaway Greenhouse Effect on Earth and other Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabbette, Maura; Pilewskie, Peter; McKay, Christopher; Young, Robert

    2001-01-01

    Water vapor is an efficient absorber of outgoing longwave infrared radiation on Earth and is the primary greenhouse gas. Since evaporation increases with increasing sea surface temperature, and the increase in water vapor further increases greenhouse warming, there is a positive feedback. The runaway greenhouse effect occurs if this feedback continues unchecked until all the water has left the surface and enters the atmosphere. For Mars and the Earth the runaway greenhouse was halted when water vapor became saturated with respect to ice or liquid water respectively. However, Venus is considered to be an example of a planet where the runaway greenhouse effect did occur, and it has been speculated that if the solar luminosity were to increase above a certain limit, it would also occur on the Earth. Satellite data acquired during the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) under clear sky conditions shows that as the sea surface temperature (SST) increases, the rate of outgoing infrared radiation at the top of the atmosphere also increases, as expected. Over the pacific warm pool where the SST exceeds 300 K the outgoing radiation emitted to space actually decreases with increasing SST, leading to a potentially unstable system. This behavior is a signature of the runaway greenhouse effect on Earth. However, the SST never exceeds 303K, thus the system has a natural cap which stops the runaway. According to Stefan-Boltzmann's law the amount of heat energy radiated by the Earth's surface is proportional to (T(sup 4)). However, if the planet has a substantial atmosphere, it can absorb all infrared radiation from the lower surface before the radiation penetrates into outer space. Thus, an instrument in space looking at the planet does not detect radiation from the surface. The radiation it sees comes from some level higher up. For the earth#s atmosphere the effective temperature (T(sub e)) has a value of 255 K corresponding to the middle troposphere, above most of the

  19. Planet logy : Towards Comparative Planet logy beyond the Solar Earth System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A. H.

    2011-10-01

    Today Scenario planet logy is a very important concept because now days the scientific research finding new and new planets and our work's range becoming too long. In the previous study shows about 10-12 years the research of planet logy now has changed . Few years ago we was talking about Sun planet, Earth planet , Moon ,Mars Jupiter & Venus etc. included but now the time has totally changed the recent studies showed that mono lakes California find the arsenic food use by micro organism that show that our study is very tiny as compare to planet long areas .We have very well known that arsenic is the toxic agent's and the toxic agent's present in the lakes and micro organism developing and life going on it's a unbelievable point for us but nature always play a magical games. In few years ago Aliens was the story no one believe the Aliens origin but now the aliens showed catch by our space craft and shuttle and every one believe that Aliens origin but at the moment's I would like to mention one point's that we have too more work required because our planet logy has a vast field. Most of the time our scientific mission shows that this planet found liquid oxygen ,this planet found hydrogen .I would like to clear that point's that all planet logy depend in to the chemical and these chemical gave the indication of the life but we are not abele to developed the adaptation according to the micro organism . Planet logy compare before study shows that Sun it's a combination of the various gases combination surrounded in a round form and now the central Sun Planets ,moons ,comets and asteroids In other word we can say that Or Sun has a wide range of the physical and Chemical properties in the after the development we can say that all chemical and physical property engaged with a certain environment and form a various contains like asteroids, moon, Comets etc. Few studies shows that other planet life affected to the out living planet .We can assure with the example the life

  20. Gravitational Microlensing of Earth-mass Planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harpsøe, Kennet Bomann West

    It was only 17 years ago that the first planet outside of our own solar system was detected in the form of 51 Pegasi b. This planet is unlike anything in our own solar system. In fact, this planet was the first representative of a class of planets later known as “hot Jupiters”– gas giants......, i.e. it is much easier to detect high mass planets in close orbits. With these two methods it is hard to detect planets in an exo-solar system with a structure similar to our own solar system; specifically, it is hard to detect Earth-like planets in Earth-like orbits. It is presently unknown how...... common such planets are in our galaxy. There are a few other known methods for detecting exoplanets which have very different bias patterns. This thesis has been divided into two parts, treating two of these other methods. Part I is dedicated to the method of gravitational microlensing, a method...

  1. A comprehensive mission to planet Earth: Woods Hole Space Science and Applications Advisory Committee Planning Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    The NASA program Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is described in this set of visuals presented in Massachusetts on July 29, 1991. The problem presented in this document is that the earth system is changing and that human activity accelerates the rate of change resulting in increased greenhouse gases, decreasing levels of stratospheric ozone, acid rain, deforestation, decreasing biodiversity, and overpopulation. Various national and international organizations are coordinating global change research. The complementary space observations for this activity are sun-synchronous polar orbits, low-inclination, low altitude orbits, geostationary orbits, and ground measurements. The Geostationary Earth Observatory is the major proposed mission of MTPE. Other proposed missions are EOS Synthetic Aperture Radar, ARISTOTELES Magnetic Field Experiment, and the Global Topography Mission. Use of the NASA DC-8 aircraft is outlined as carrying out the Airborne Science and Applications Program. Approved Earth Probes Program include the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS). Other packages for earth observation are described.

  2. Spectral fingerprints of Earth-like planets around FGK stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rugheimer, Sarah; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Zsom, Andras; Segura, Antígona; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2013-03-01

    We present model atmospheres for an Earth-like planet orbiting the entire grid of main sequence FGK stars with effective temperatures ranging from Teff=4250 K to Teff=7000 K in 250 K intervals. We have modeled the remotely detectable spectra of Earth-like planets for clear and cloudy atmospheres at the 1 AU equivalent distance from the VIS to IR (0.4 to 20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges in accordance with the James Webb Space Telescope and future design concepts to characterize exo-Earths. We have also explored the effect of the stellar UV levels as well as spectral energy distribution on a terrestrial atmosphere, concentrating on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. The increase in UV dominates changes of O3, OH, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl, whereas the increase in stellar temperature dominates changes in H2O. The overall effect as stellar effective temperatures and corresponding UV increase is a lower surface temperature of the planet due to a bigger part of the stellar flux being reflected at short wavelengths, as well as increased photolysis. Earth-like atmosphere models show more O3 and OH but less stratospheric CH4, N2O, CH3Cl, and tropospheric H2O (but more stratospheric H2O) with increasing effective temperature of main sequence stars. The corresponding detectable spectral features, on the other hand, show different detectability depending on the wavelength observed. We concentrate on directly imaged planets here as a framework to interpret future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone at varying orbital positions.

  3. The Earth: A Changing Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribas, Núria; Màrquez, Conxita

    2013-04-01

    text: We describe a didactic unit that rises from our own living impression about our experience on the planet. Most of us feel the Earth to be a very static place. Rocks don't easily move and most landscapes always look the same over time. Anyone would say (the same way most scientists believed until the beginning of the last century) that our planet has always remained unchanged, never transformed. But then, all of a sudden, as a misfortune for so many humans, natural hazards appear on the scene: an earthquake causing so many disasters, a tsunami carrying away everything in its path, an eruption that can destroy huge surrounding areas but also bring new geographical relief. Science cannot remain oblivious to these events, we must wonder beyond. What does an earthquake mean? Why does it happen? What about an eruption? If it comes from the inside, what can we guess from it? Researching about all of these events, scientists have been able to arrive to some important knowledge of the planet itself: It has been possible to theorize about Earth's interior. It has also been confirmed that the planet has not always been the quiet and stable place we once thought. Continents, as Wegener supposed, do move about and the Tectonic Plates Theory, thanks to the information obtained through earthquakes and eruption, can provide some interesting explanations. But how do we know about our planet's past? How can we prove that the Earth has always been moving and that its surface changes? The Earth's rocks yield the answer. Rocks have been the only witnesses throughout millions of years, since the planet first came to existence. Let's learn how to read them… Shouldn't we realize that rocks are to Geology what books are to History? This discursive process has been distributed in four learning sequences: 1. Land is not as solid nor firm as it would seem, 2. The Earth planet: a puzzle, 3. The rocks also recycle , 4. Field trip to "Sant Miquel del Fai". The subjects take about 30

  4. Space based microlensing planet searches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tisserand Patrick

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of extra-solar planets is arguably the most exciting development in astrophysics during the past 15 years, rivalled only by the detection of dark energy. Two projects unite the communities of exoplanet scientists and cosmologists: the proposed ESA M class mission EUCLID and the large space mission WFIRST, top ranked by the Astronomy 2010 Decadal Survey report. The later states that: “Space-based microlensing is the optimal approach to providing a true statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, over a range of likely semi-major axes”. They also add: “This census, combined with that made by the Kepler mission, will determine how common Earth-like planets are over a wide range of orbital parameters”. We will present a status report of the results obtained by microlensing on exoplanets and the new objectives of the next generation of ground based wide field imager networks. We will finally discuss the fantastic prospect offered by space based microlensing at the horizon 2020–2025.

  5. Two Earth-sized planets orbiting Kepler-20.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Rowe, Jason F; Charbonneau, David; Rogers, Leslie A; Ballard, Sarah; Batalha, Natalie M; Borucki, William J; Bryson, Stephen T; Buchhave, Lars A; Ciardi, David R; Désert, Jean-Michel; Dressing, Courtney D; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Gautier, Thomas N; Henze, Christopher E; Holman, Matthew J; Howard, Andrew; Howell, Steve B; Jenkins, Jon M; Koch, David G; Latham, David W; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Quinn, Samuel N; Ragozzine, Darin; Sasselov, Dimitar D; Seager, Sara; Barclay, Thomas; Mullally, Fergal; Seader, Shawn E; Still, Martin; Twicken, Joseph D; Thompson, Susan E; Uddin, Kamal

    2011-12-20

    Since the discovery of the first extrasolar giant planets around Sun-like stars, evolving observational capabilities have brought us closer to the detection of true Earth analogues. The size of an exoplanet can be determined when it periodically passes in front of (transits) its parent star, causing a decrease in starlight proportional to its radius. The smallest exoplanet hitherto discovered has a radius 1.42 times that of the Earth's radius (R(⊕)), and hence has 2.9 times its volume. Here we report the discovery of two planets, one Earth-sized (1.03R(⊕)) and the other smaller than the Earth (0.87R(⊕)), orbiting the star Kepler-20, which is already known to host three other, larger, transiting planets. The gravitational pull of the new planets on the parent star is too small to measure with current instrumentation. We apply a statistical method to show that the likelihood of the planetary interpretation of the transit signals is more than three orders of magnitude larger than that of the alternative hypothesis that the signals result from an eclipsing binary star. Theoretical considerations imply that these planets are rocky, with a composition of iron and silicate. The outer planet could have developed a thick water vapour atmosphere.

  6. Doppler spectroscopy as a path to the detection of Earth-like planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Michel; Lovis, Christophe; Santos, Nuno C

    2014-09-18

    Doppler spectroscopy was the first technique used to reveal the existence of extrasolar planetary systems hosted by solar-type stars. Radial-velocity surveys led to the detection of a rich population of super-Earths and Neptune-type planets. The numerous detected systems revealed a remarkable diversity. Combining Doppler measurements with photometric observations of planets transiting their host stars further provides access to the planet bulk density, a first step towards comparative exoplanetology. The development of new high-precision spectrographs and space-based facilities will ultimately lead us to characterize rocky planets in the habitable zone of our close stellar neighbours.

  7. Jupiter and planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of Jupiter and Earth are discussed along with their atmospheres, the radiation belts around both planets, natural satellites, the evolution of life, and the Pioneer 10. Educational study projects are also included

  8. Mathematical models and methods for planet Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Locatelli, Ugo; Ruggeri, Tommaso; Strickland, Elisabetta

    2014-01-01

    In 2013 several scientific activities have been devoted to mathematical researches for the study of planet Earth. The current volume presents a selection of the highly topical issues presented at the workshop “Mathematical Models and Methods for Planet Earth”, held in Roma (Italy), in May 2013. The fields of interest span from impacts of dangerous asteroids to the safeguard from space debris, from climatic changes to monitoring geological events, from the study of tumor growth to sociological problems. In all these fields the mathematical studies play a relevant role as a tool for the analysis of specific topics and as an ingredient of multidisciplinary problems. To investigate these problems we will see many different mathematical tools at work: just to mention some, stochastic processes, PDE, normal forms, chaos theory.

  9. Origin of the Earth and planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Safronov, V.S.; Ruskol, E.L.

    1982-01-01

    The present state of the Schmidt hypothesis on planets formation by combining cold solid particles and bodies in the protoplanet dust cloud is briefly outlined in a popular form. The most debatable problems of the planet cosmogony: formation of and processes in a protoplanet cloud, results of analytical evaluations and numerical simulation of origin of the Earth and planets-giants are discussed [ru

  10. Early Earth(s) Across Time and Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mojzsis, S.

    2014-04-01

    The geochemical and cosmochemical record of our solar system is the baseline for exploring the question: "when could life appear on a world similar to our own?" Data arising from direct analysis of the oldest terrestrial rocks and minerals from the first 500 Myr of Earth history - termed the Hadean Eon - inform us about the timing for the establishment of a habitable silicate world. Liquid water is the key medium for life. The origin of water, and its interaction with the crust as revealed in the geologic record, guides our exploration for a cosmochemically Earth-like planets. From the time of primary planetary accretion to the start of the continuous rock record on Earth at ca. 3850 million years ago, our planet experienced a waning bolide flux that partially or entirely wiped out surface rocks, vaporized oceans, and created transient serpentinizing atmospheres. Arguably, "Early Earths" across the galaxy may start off as ice planets due to feeble insolation from their young stars, occasionally punctuated by steam atmospheres generated by cataclysmic impacts. Alternatively, early global environments conducive to life spanned from a benign surface zone to deep into crustal rocks and sediments. In some scenarios, nascent biospheres benefit from the exogenous delivery of essential bio-elements via leftovers of accretion, and the subsequent establishment of planetary-scale hydrothermal systems. If what is now known about the early dynamical regime of the Earth serves as any measure of the potential habitability of worlds across space and time, several key boundary conditions emerge. These are: (i) availability and long-term stability of liquid water; (ii) presence of energy resources; (iii) accessibility of organic raw materials; (iv) adequate inventory of radioisotopes to drive internal heating; (v) gross compositional parameters such as mantle/core mass ratio, and (vi) P-T conditions at or near the surface suitable for sustaining biological activity. Life could

  11. An Earth-mass planet orbiting α Centauri B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumusque, Xavier; Pepe, Francesco; Lovis, Christophe; Ségransan, Damien; Sahlmann, Johannes; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Mayor, Michel; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno; Udry, Stéphane

    2012-11-08

    Exoplanets down to the size of Earth have been found, but not in the habitable zone--that is, at a distance from the parent star at which water, if present, would be liquid. There are planets in the habitable zone of stars cooler than our Sun, but for reasons such as tidal locking and strong stellar activity, they are unlikely to harbour water-carbon life as we know it. The detection of a habitable Earth-mass planet orbiting a star similar to our Sun is extremely difficult, because such a signal is overwhelmed by stellar perturbations. Here we report the detection of an Earth-mass planet orbiting our neighbour star α Centauri B, a member of the closest stellar system to the Sun. The planet has an orbital period of 3.236 days and is about 0.04 astronomical units from the star (one astronomical unit is the Earth-Sun distance).

  12. Terrestrial planet formation in the presence of migrating super-Earths

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Izidoro, André; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N.

    2014-01-01

    Super-Earths with orbital periods less than 100 days are extremely abundant around Sun-like stars. It is unlikely that these planets formed at their current locations. Rather, they likely formed at large distances from the star and subsequently migrated inward. Here we use N-body simulations to study the effect of super-Earths on the accretion of rocky planets. In our simulations, one or more super-Earths migrate inward through a disk of planetary embryos and planetesimals embedded in a gaseous disk. We tested a wide range of migration speeds and configurations. Fast-migrating super-Earths (τ mig ∼ 0.01-0.1 Myr) only have a modest effect on the protoplanetary embryos and planetesimals. Sufficient material survives to form rocky, Earth-like planets on orbits exterior to the super-Earths'. In contrast, slowly migrating super-Earths shepherd rocky material interior to their orbits and strongly deplete the terrestrial planet-forming zone. In this situation any Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone are extremely volatile-rich and are therefore probably not Earth-like.

  13. The Magnetic Field of Planet Earth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulot, G.; Finlay, Chris; Constable, C. G.

    2010-01-01

    The magnetic field of the Earth is by far the best documented magnetic field of all known planets. Considerable progress has been made in our understanding of its characteristics and properties, thanks to the convergence of many different approaches and to the remarkable fact that surface rocks...... yr) to the longest (virtually the age of the Earth) time scales are finally reviewed, underlining the respective roles of the magnetohydodynamics at work in the core, and of the slow dynamic evolution of the planet as a whole....

  14. The Now Frontier. Pioneer to Jupiter. Man Links Earth and Planets. Issue No. 1-5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973

    This packet of space science instructional materials includes five issues related to the planet Jupiter. Each issue presents factual material about the planet, diagramatic representations of its movements and positions relative to bright stars or the earth, actual photographs and/or tables of data collected relevant to Pioneer 10, the spacecraft…

  15. From Extrasolar Planets to Exo-Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Debra

    2018-06-01

    The ancient Greeks debated whether the Earth was unique, or innumerable worlds existed around other Suns. Twenty five years ago, technology and human ingenuity enabled the discovery of the first extrasolar planet candidates. The architectures of these first systems, with gas giant planets in star-skirting orbits, were unexpected and again raised an echo of that ancient question: is the Earth typical or unique? We are interested in this seemingly anthropocentric question because with all of our searching and discoveries, Earth is the only place where life has been found. It is the question of whether life exists elsewhere that energizes the search for exoplanets. The trajectory of this field has been stunning. After a steady stream of detections with the radial velocity method, a burst of discovery was made possible with the NASA Kepler mission. While thousands of smaller planets have now been found, true Earth analogs have eluded robust detection. However, we are sharpening the knives of our technology and without a doubt we now stand at the threshold of detecting hundreds of Earth analogs. Using Gaia, TESS, WFIRST, JWST and new ground-based spectrographs, we will learn the names and addresses of the worlds that orbit nearby stars and we will be ready to probe their atmospheres. We will finally resolve the ancient question of whether life is unique or common.

  16. Earth Observations from Space: The First 50 Years of Scientific Achievements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    Observing Earth from space over the past 50 years has fundamentally transformed the way people view our home planet. The image of the "blue marble" is taken for granted now, but it was revolutionary when taken in 1972 by the crew on Apollo 17. Since then the capability to look at Earth from space has grown increasingly sophisticated and has evolved from simple photographs to quantitative measurements of Earth properties such as temperature, concentrations of atmospheric trace gases, and the exact elevation of land and ocean. Imaging Earth from space has resulted in major scientific accomplishments; these observations have led to new discoveries, transformed the Earth sciences, opened new avenues of research, and provided important societal benefits by improving the predictability of Earth system processes. This report highlights the scientific achievements made possible by the first five decades of Earth satellite observations by space-faring nations. It follows on a recent report from the National Research Council (NRC) entitled Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, also referred to as the "decadal survey." Recognizing the increasing need for space observations, the decadal survey identifies future directions and priorities for Earth observations from space. This companion report was requested by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to highlight, through selected examples, important past contributions of Earth observations from space to our current understanding of the planet.

  17. Observing the Atmospheres of Known Temperate Earth-sized Planets with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, Caroline V.; Kreidberg, Laura; Rustamkulov, Zafar; Robinson, Tyler; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2017-12-01

    Nine transiting Earth-sized planets have recently been discovered around nearby late-M dwarfs, including the TRAPPIST-1 planets and two planets discovered by the MEarth survey, GJ 1132b and LHS 1140b. These planets are the smallest known planets that may have atmospheres amenable to detection with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We present model thermal emission and transmission spectra for each planet, varying composition and surface pressure of the atmosphere. We base elemental compositions on those of Earth, Titan, and Venus and calculate the molecular compositions assuming chemical equilibrium, which can strongly depend on temperature. Both thermal emission and transmission spectra are sensitive to the atmospheric composition; thermal emission spectra are sensitive to surface pressure and temperature. We predict the observability of each planet’s atmosphere with JWST. GJ 1132b and TRAPPIST-1b are excellent targets for emission spectroscopy with JWST/MIRI, requiring fewer than 10 eclipse observations. Emission photometry for TRAPPIST-1c requires 5-15 eclipses; LHS 1140b and TRAPPIST-1d, TRAPPIST-1e, and TRAPPIST-1f, which could possibly have surface liquid water, may be accessible with photometry. Seven of the nine planets are strong candidates for transmission spectroscopy measurements with JWST, although the number of transits required depends strongly on the planets’ actual masses. Using the measured masses, fewer than 20 transits are required for a 5σ detection of spectral features for GJ 1132b and six of the TRAPPIST-1 planets. Dedicated campaigns to measure the atmospheres of these nine planets will allow us, for the first time, to probe formation and evolution processes of terrestrial planetary atmospheres beyond our solar system.

  18. EFFECT OF UV RADIATION ON THE SPECTRAL FINGERPRINTS OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING M STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rugheimer, S. [Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Kaltenegger, L. [Carl Sagan Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Segura, A. [Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México (Mexico); Linsky, J. [JILA, University of Colorado and NIST, 440 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0440 (United States); Mohanty, S. [Imperial College London, 1010 Blackett Lab, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)

    2015-08-10

    We model the atmospheres and spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting the entire grid of M dwarfs for active and inactive stellar models with T{sub eff} = 2300 K to T{sub eff} = 3800 K and for six observed MUSCLES M dwarfs with UV radiation data. We set the Earth-like planets at the 1 AU equivalent distance and show spectra from the visible to IR (0.4–20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges with the James Webb Space Telescope and other future ground- and spaced-based missions to characterize exo-Earths. We focus on the effect of UV activity levels on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H{sub 2}O, O{sub 3}, CH{sub 4}, N{sub 2}O, and CH{sub 3}Cl. To observe signatures of life—O{sub 2}/O{sub 3} in combination with reducing species like CH{sub 4}—we find that early and active M dwarfs are the best targets of the M star grid for future telescopes. The O{sub 2} spectral feature at 0.76 μm is increasingly difficult to detect in reflected light of later M dwarfs owing to low stellar flux in that wavelength region. N{sub 2}O, another biosignature detectable in the IR, builds up to observable concentrations in our planetary models around M dwarfs with low UV flux. CH{sub 3}Cl could become detectable, depending on the depth of the overlapping N{sub 2}O feature. We present a spectral database of Earth-like planets around cool stars for directly imaged planets as a framework for interpreting future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone to design and assess future telescope capabilities.

  19. EFFECT OF UV RADIATION ON THE SPECTRAL FINGERPRINTS OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING M STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rugheimer, S.; Kaltenegger, L.; Segura, A.; Linsky, J.; Mohanty, S.

    2015-01-01

    We model the atmospheres and spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting the entire grid of M dwarfs for active and inactive stellar models with T eff = 2300 K to T eff = 3800 K and for six observed MUSCLES M dwarfs with UV radiation data. We set the Earth-like planets at the 1 AU equivalent distance and show spectra from the visible to IR (0.4–20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges with the James Webb Space Telescope and other future ground- and spaced-based missions to characterize exo-Earths. We focus on the effect of UV activity levels on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H 2 O, O 3 , CH 4 , N 2 O, and CH 3 Cl. To observe signatures of life—O 2 /O 3 in combination with reducing species like CH 4 —we find that early and active M dwarfs are the best targets of the M star grid for future telescopes. The O 2 spectral feature at 0.76 μm is increasingly difficult to detect in reflected light of later M dwarfs owing to low stellar flux in that wavelength region. N 2 O, another biosignature detectable in the IR, builds up to observable concentrations in our planetary models around M dwarfs with low UV flux. CH 3 Cl could become detectable, depending on the depth of the overlapping N 2 O feature. We present a spectral database of Earth-like planets around cool stars for directly imaged planets as a framework for interpreting future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone to design and assess future telescope capabilities

  20. Early Hydrodynamic Escape Limits Rocky Planets to Less Than or Equal to 1.6 Earth Radii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmer, O. R.; Catling, D. C.

    2017-01-01

    In the past decade thousands of exoplanet candidates and hundreds of confirmed exoplanets have been found. For sub-Neptune-sized planets, those less than approx. 10 Earth masses, we can separate planets into two broad categories: predominantly rocky planets, and gaseous planets with thick volatile sheaths. Observations and subsequent analysis of these planets show that rocky planets are only found with radii less than approx. 1.6 Earth radii. No rocky planet has yet been found that violates this limit. We propose that hydrodynamic escape of hydrogen rich protoatmospheres, accreted by forming planets, explains the limit in rocky planet size. Following the hydrodynamic escape model employed by Luger et al. (2015), we modelled the XUV driven escape from young planets (less than approx.100 Myr in age) around a Sun-like star. With a simple, first-order model we found that the rocky planet radii limit occurs consistently at approx. 1.6 Earth radii across a wide range of plausible parameter spaces. Our model shows that hydrodynamic escape can explain the observed cutoff between rocky and gaseous planets. Fig. 1 shows the results of our model for rocky planets between 0.5 and 10 Earth masses that accrete 3 wt. % H2/He during formation. The simulation was run for 100 Myr, after that time the XUV flux drops off exponentially and hydrodynamic escape drops with it. A cutoff between rocky planets and gaseous ones is clearly seen at approx. 1.5-1.6 Earth radii. We are only interested in the upper size limit for rocky planets. As such, we assumed pure hydrogen atmospheres and the highest possible isothermal atmospheric temperatures, which will produce an upper limit on the hydrodynamic loss rate. Previous work shows that a reasonable approximation for an upper temperature limit in a hydrogen rich protoatmosphere is 2000-3000 K, consistent with our assumptions. From these results, we propose that the observed dichotomy between mini-Neptunes and rocky worlds is simply explained by

  1. New worlds on the horizon: Earth-sized planets close to other stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, Eric; Haghighipour, Nader; Agol, Eric; Latham, David; Raymond, Sean; Rayner, John

    2007-10-12

    The search for habitable planets like Earth around other stars fulfills an ancient imperative to understand our origins and place in the cosmos. The past decade has seen the discovery of hundreds of planets, but nearly all are gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn. Recent advances in instrumentation and new missions are extending searches to planets the size of Earth but closer to their host stars. There are several possible ways such planets could form, and future observations will soon test those theories. Many of these planets we discover may be quite unlike Earth in their surface temperature and composition, but their study will nonetheless inform us about the process of planet formation and the frequency of Earth-like planets around other stars.

  2. A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M.

    2018-01-01

    A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth "Not too hot, not too cold" begins the prescription for a world that's just right for life as we know it. Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies around the world thanks in large part to NASA's Kepler Mission which launched in 2009 with the objective of finding Goldilocks planets orbiting other stars like our Sun. Indeed, the space telescope opened our eyes to the terrestrial-sized planets that populate the galaxy as well as exotic worlds unlike anything that exists in the solar system. The mission ignited the search for life beyond earth via remote detection of atmospheric biosignatures on exoplanets. Most recently, our collective imagination was awakened by the discovery of Goldilocks worlds orbiting some of the nearest neighbors to the Sun, turning abstractions into destinations. Dr. Batalha will give an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler Mission and other key discoveries. She'll give a preview of what's to come by highlighting the missions soon to launch and those that are concepts taking shape on the drawing board.

  3. Terraforming the Planets and Climate Change Mitigation on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, O. B.

    2008-12-01

    Hopefully, purposeful geo-engineering of the Earth will remain a theoretical concept. Of course, we have already inadvertently changed the Earth, and over geologic history life has left an indelible imprint on our planet. We can learn about geo-engineering schemes by reference to Earth history, for example climate changes after volcanic eruptions provide important clues to using sulfates to modify the climate. The terrestrial planets and Titan offer additional insights. For instance, Mars and Venus both have carbon dioxide dominated greenhouses. Both have more than 10 times as much carbon dioxide in their atmospheres as Earth, and both absorb less sunlight than Earth, yet one is much colder than Earth and one is much hotter. These facts provide important insights into carbon dioxide greenhouses that I will review. Mars cools dramatically following planet wide dust storms, and Titan has what is referred to as an anti- greenhouse climate driven by aerosols. These data can be used to reassure us that we can model aerosol caused changes to the climate of a planet, and also provide examples of aerosols offsetting a gas-driven greenhouse effect. People have long considered whether we might make the other planets habitable. While most of the schemes considered belong in the realm of science fiction, it is possible that some schemes might be practical. Terraforming brings to mind a number of issues that are thought provoking, but not so politically charged as geo-engineering. For example: What criteria define habitability, is it enough for people to live in isolated glass enclosures, or do we need to walk freely on the planet? Different creatures have different needs. Is a planet habitable if plants can thrive in the open, or do animals also need to be free? Are the raw materials present on any planet to make it habitable? If not, can we make the materials, or do we have to import them? Is it ethical to change a planetary climate? What if there are already primitive

  4. A detailed view of Earth across space and time: our changing planet through a 32-year global Landsat and Sentinel-2 timelapse video

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herwig, C.

    2017-12-01

    The Landsat program offers an unparalleled record of our changing planet, with satellites that have been observing the Earth since 1972 to the present day. However, clouds, seasonal variation, and technical challenges around access to large volumes of data make it difficult for researchers and the public to understand global and regional scale changes across time through the planetary dataset. Earth Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that has helped revolutionize how users - millions of which have never been capable of utilizing Landsat data before - monitor and understand a changing planet. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016, which are made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab's Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time. Using Earth Engine, we combined over 5 million satellite images acquired over the past three decades by 5 different satellites. The majority of the images come from Landsat, a joint USGS/NASA Earth observation program that has observed the Earth since the 1970s. For 2015 and 2016, we combined Landsat 8 imagery with imagery from Sentinel-2A, part of the European Commission and European Space Agency's Copernicus Earth observation program. Along with the interactive desktop Timelapse application, we created a 200-video YouTube playlist highlighting areas across the world exhibiting change in the dataset.Earth Timelapse is an example that illustrates the power of Google Earth Engine's cloud-computing platform, which enables users such as scientists, researchers, and journalists to detect changes, map trends, and quantify differences on the Earth's surface using Google's computational infrastructure and the multi-petabyte Earth Engine data catalog. Earth Timelapse also highlights the value of data visualization to communicate with non-scientific audiences with varied technical and internet connectivity

  5. An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, Elisa V; Barclay, Thomas; Raymond, Sean N; Rowe, Jason F; Bolmont, Emeline; Caldwell, Douglas A; Howell, Steve B; Kane, Stephen R; Huber, Daniel; Crepp, Justin R; Lissauer, Jack J; Ciardi, David R; Coughlin, Jeffrey L; Everett, Mark E; Henze, Christopher E; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Ford, Eric B; Adams, Fred C; Still, Martin; Hunter, Roger C; Quarles, Billy; Selsis, Franck

    2014-04-18

    The quest for Earth-like planets is a major focus of current exoplanet research. Although planets that are Earth-sized and smaller have been detected, these planets reside in orbits that are too close to their host star to allow liquid water on their surfaces. We present the detection of Kepler-186f, a 1.11 ± 0.14 Earth-radius planet that is the outermost of five planets, all roughly Earth-sized, that transit a 0.47 ± 0.05 solar-radius star. The intensity and spectrum of the star's radiation place Kepler-186f in the stellar habitable zone, implying that if Kepler-186f has an Earth-like atmosphere and water at its surface, then some of this water is likely to be in liquid form.

  6. Tidal effects on Earth, Planets, Sun by far visiting moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fargion, Daniele

    2016-07-01

    The Earth has been formed by a huge mini-planet collision forming our Earth surface and our Moon today. Such a central collision hit was statistically rare. A much probable skimming or nearby encounter by other moons or planets had to occur. Indeed Recent observations suggest that many planetary-mass objects may be present in the outer solar system between the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. Gravitational perturbations may occasionally bring them into the inner solar system. Their passage near Earth could have generated gigantic tidal waves, large volcanic eruptions, sea regressions, large meteoritic impacts and drastic changes in global climate. They could have caused the major biological mass extinctions in the past in the geological records. For instance a ten times a terrestrial radius nearby impact scattering by a peripherical encounter by a small moon-like object will force huge tidal waves (hundred meter height), able to lead to huge tsunami and Earth-quake. Moreover the historical cumulative planet hits in larger and wider planets as Juppiter, Saturn, Uranus will leave a trace, as observed, in their tilted spin axis. Finally a large fraction of counter rotating moons in our solar system probe and test such a visiting mini-planet captur origination. In addition the Earth day duration variability in the early past did show a rare discountinuity, very probably indebt to such a visiting planet crossing event. These far planets in rare trajectory to our Sun may, in thousands event capture, also explain sudden historical and recent temperature changes.

  7. How Do Earth-Sized, Short-Period Planets Form?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-08-01

    Matching theory to observation often requires creative detective work. In a new study, scientists have used a clever test to reveal clues about the birth of speedy, Earth-sized planets.Former Hot Jupiters?Artists impression of a hot Jupiter with an evaporating atmosphere. [NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech]Among the many different types of exoplanets weve observed, one unusual category is that of ultra-short-period planets. These roughly Earth-sized planets speed around their host stars at incredible rates, with periods of less than a day.How do planets in this odd category form? One popular theory is that they were previously hot Jupiters, especially massive gas giants orbiting very close to their host stars. The close orbit caused the planets atmospheres to be stripped away, leaving behind only their dense cores.In a new study, a team of astronomers led by Joshua Winn (Princeton University) has found a clever way to test this theory.Planetary radius vs. orbital period for the authors three statistical samples (colored markers) and the broader sample of stars in the California Kepler Survey. [Winn et al. 2017]Testing MetallicitiesStars hosting hot Jupiters have an interesting quirk: they typically have metallicities that are significantly higher than an average planet-hosting star. It is speculated that this is because planets are born from the same materials as their host stars, and hot Jupiters require the presence of more metals to be able to form.Regardless of the cause of this trend, if ultra-short-period planets are in fact the solid cores of former hot Jupiters, then the two categories of planets should have hosts with the same metallicity distributions. The ultra-short-period-planet hosts should therefore also be weighted to higher metallicities than average planet-hosting stars.To test this, the authors make spectroscopic measurements and gather data for a sample of stellar hosts split into three categories:64 ultra-short-period planets (orbital period shorter than a

  8. Plan for Living on a Restless Planet Sets NASA's Solid Earth Agenda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Sean C.; Baker, Victor R.; Bloxham, Jeremy; Booth, Jeffrey; Donnellan, Andrea; Elachi, Charles; Evans, Diane; Rignot, Eric; Burbank, Douglas; Chao, Benjamin F.; Chave, Alan; Gillespie, Alan; Herring, Thomas; Jeanloz, Raymond; LaBrecque, John; Minster, Bernard; Pittman, Walter C., III; Simons, Mark; Turcotte, Donald L.; Zoback, Mary Lou C.

    What are the most important challenges facing solid Earth science today and over the next two decades? And what is the best approach for NASA, in partnership with other agencies, to address those challenges? A new report, Living on a Restless Planet, provides a blueprint for answering these questions. The top priority for a new spacecraft mission in the area of solid Earth science over the next 5 years, according to this report, is a satellite dedicated to Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR). At the request of NASA, the Solid Earth Science Working Group (SESWG) developed a strategy for the highest priority objectives in solid Earth science for the space agency over the next 25 years. The strategy addresses six challenges that are of fundamental scientific importance, have strong implications for society, and are amenable to substantial progress through a concerted series of scientific observations from space.

  9. Temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M; Delrez, Laetitia; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Van Grootel, Valérie; Burgasser, Adam J; Triaud, Amaury H M J; Opitom, Cyrielle; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Sahu, Devendra K; Bardalez Gagliuffi, Daniella; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2016-05-12

    Star-like objects with effective temperatures of less than 2,700 kelvin are referred to as 'ultracool dwarfs'. This heterogeneous group includes stars of extremely low mass as well as brown dwarfs (substellar objects not massive enough to sustain hydrogen fusion), and represents about 15 per cent of the population of astronomical objects near the Sun. Core-accretion theory predicts that, given the small masses of these ultracool dwarfs, and the small sizes of their protoplanetary disks, there should be a large but hitherto undetected population of terrestrial planets orbiting them--ranging from metal-rich Mercury-sized planets to more hospitable volatile-rich Earth-sized planets. Here we report observations of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting an ultracool dwarf star only 12 parsecs away. The inner two planets receive four times and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star. Our data suggest that 11 orbits remain possible for the third planet, the most likely resulting in irradiation significantly less than that received by Earth. The infrared brightness of the host star, combined with its Jupiter-like size, offers the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system.

  10. The Stability of Hydrogen-Rich Atmospheres of Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Understanding hydrogen escape is essential to understanding the limits to habitability, both for liquid water where the Sun is bright, but also to assess the true potential of H2 as a greenhouse gas where the Sun is faint. Hydrogen-rich primary atmospheres of Earth-like planets can result either from gravitational capture of solar nebular gases (with helium), or from impact shock processing of a wide variety of volatile-rich planetesimals (typically accompanied by H2O, CO2, and under the right circumstances, CH4). Most studies of hydrogen escape from planets focus on determining how fast the hydrogen escapes. In general this requires solving hydro- dynamic equations that take into account the acceleration of hydrogen through a critical transonic point and an energy budget that should include radiative heating and cooling, thermal conduction, the work done in lifting the hydrogen against gravity, and the residual heat carried by the hydrogen as it leaves. But for planets from which hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which is much simpler, and for which a relatively full-featured treatment of radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ is straightforward. Previous work has overlooked the fact that the H2 molecule is extremely efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, and thus that radiative cooling can be markedly more efficient when H2 is abundant. We map out the region of phase space in which terrestrial planets keep hydrogen-rich atmospheres, which is what we actually want to know for habitability. We will use this framework to reassess Tian et al's hypothesis that H2-rich atmospheres may have been rather long-lived on Earth itself. Finally, we will address the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than 1.6 Earth radii.

  11. On the possibility of Earth-type habitable planets in the 55 Cancri system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bloh, W; Cuntz, M; Franck, S; Bounama, C

    2003-01-01

    We discuss the possibility of Earth-type planets in the planetary system of 55 Cancri, a nearby G8 V star, which is host to two, possibly three, giant planets. We argue that Earth-type planets around 55 Cancri are in principle possible. Several conditions are necessary. First, Earth-type planets must have formed despite the existence of the close-in giant planet(s). In addition, they must be orbitally stable in the region of habitability considering that the stellar habitable zone is relatively close to the star compared to the Sun because of 55 Cancri's low luminosity and may therefore be affected by the close-in giant planet(s). We estimate the likelihood of Earth-type planets around 55 Cancri based on the integrated system approach previously considered, which provides a way of assessing the long-term possibility of photosynthetic biomass production under geodynamic conditions.

  12. Two planets: Earth and Mars - One salt model: The Hydrothermal SCRIW-Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hovland, M. T.; Rueslaatten, H.; Johnsen, H. K.; Indreiten, T.

    2011-12-01

    Red Sea indicates that a shallow magma-chamber causes a sufficiently high heat-flow to drive a convection cell of seawater. The model shows that salt precipitates along the flow lines within the SCRIW-region (Hovland et al., 2006). During the various stages of planet Mars' development, it must be inferred that zones with very high heat-flow also existed there. This meant that water (brine) confined in the crust of Mars was mobilized in a convective manner and would pass into the SCRIW-zone during the down-going leg (the recharge leg) of the convective cell. The zones with SCRIW out-salting would require accommodation space for large masses of solid salt, as modeled in the Red Sea analogy. However, as the accommodation space for the solid salt fills up, it will pile up and force its way upwards to form large, perhaps layered anticlines, as seen in the Hebes Mensa area of Mars and at numerous locations on Earth, including the Red Sea. Thus, we offer a universal 'hydrothermal salt model', which would be viable on all planets with free water in their interiors or on their surfaces, including Mars and Earth.

  13. International Conference and Advanced School Planet Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Jeltsch, Rolf; Pinto, Alberto; Viana, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    The focus of this volume is research carried out as part of the program Mathematics of Planet Earth, which provides a platform to showcase the essential role of mathematics in addressing planetary problems and creating a context for mathematicians and applied scientists to foster mathematical and interdisciplinary developments that will be necessary to tackle a myriad of issues and meet future global challenges. Earth is a planet with dynamic processes in its mantle, oceans and atmosphere creating climate, causing natural disasters, and influencing fundamental aspects of life and life-supporting systems. In addition to these natural processes, human activity has increased to the point where it influences the global climate, impacts the ability of the planet to feed itself and threatens the stability of these systems. Issues such as climate change, sustainability, man-made disasters, control of diseases and epidemics, management of resources, risk analysis, and global integration have come to the fore. Written...

  14. Stamping the Earth from space

    CERN Document Server

    Dicati, Renato

    2017-01-01

    This unique book presents a historical and philatelic survey of Earth exploration from space. It covers all areas of research in which artificial satellites have contributed in designing a new image of our planet and its environment: the atmosphere and ionosphere, the magnetic field, radiation belts and the magnetosphere, weather, remote sensing, mapping of the surface, observation of the oceans and marine environments, geodesy, and the study of life and ecological systems. Stamping the Earth from Space presents the results obtained with the thousands of satellites launched by the two former superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States, and also those of the many missions carried out by the ESA, individual European countries, Japan, China, India, and the many emerging space nations. Beautifully illustrated, it contains almost 1100 color reproductions of philatelic items. In addition to topical stamps and thematic postal documents, the book provides an extensive review of astrophilatelic items. The most...

  15. Selections from 2017: Atmosphere Around an Earth-Like Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    Editors note:In these last two weeks of 2017, well be looking at a few selections that we havent yet discussed on AAS Nova from among the most-downloaded paperspublished in AAS journals this year. The usual posting schedule will resume in January.Detection of the Atmosphere of the 1.6 M Exoplanet GJ 1132 bPublished March2017Main takeaway:An atmosphere was detected around the roughly Earth-size exoplanet GJ 1132 b using a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. A team of scientists led byJohn Southworth (Keele University) found features indicating the presence of an atmosphere in theobservationsof this 1.6-Earth-mass planet as it transits an M-dwarf host star. This is the lowest-mass planet with a detected atmosphere thus far.Why its interesting:M dwarfs are among the most common stars in our galaxy, and weve found manyEarth-sizeexoplanets in or near the habitable zones around M-dwarf hosts. But M dwarfs are also more magnetically active than stars like our Sun, suggesting that the planets in M-dwarfhabitable zones may not be able to support life due to stellar activity eroding their atmospheres. The detection of an atmosphere around GJ 1132 b suggests that some planets orbiting M dwarfsare able to retain their atmospheres which meansthat these planetsmay be an interesting place to search for life after all.How the atmosphere was detected:The measured planetary radius for GJ 1132 b as a function of the wavelength used to observe it. [Southworth et al. 2017]When measuring the radius of GJ 1132 b based on its transits, the authors noticed that the planet appeared to be largerwhen observed in some wavelengths than in others. This can beexplained if the planet has asurface radius of 1.4 Earth radii, overlaid by an atmosphere that extends out another few tenths of an Earth radius. The atmosphere, which may consist of water vapor or methane, is transparent to some wavelengths and absorbs others which is why the apparent size of the planet changes

  16. Gravitational mechanism of active life of the Earth, planets and satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkin, Yury

    2010-05-01

    From positions of geodynamic model of the forced gravitational swing, wobble and displacements of shells of a planet are studied and fundamental problems of geodynamics, geology, geophysics, planetary sciences are solved etc.: 1) The mechanism of cyclic variations of activity of natural processes in various time scales. 2) The power of endogenous activity of planetary natural processes on planets and satellites. 3) The phenomenon of polar inversion of natural processes on planets and satellites. 4) Spasmodic and catastrophic changes of activity of natural processes. 5) The phenomenon of twisting of hemispheres (latitude zones or belts) of celestial bodies. 6) Formation of the pear-shaped form of celestial bodies and the mechanism of its change. 7) The ordered planetary structures of geological formations. 8) The phenomena of bipolarity of celestial bodies and antipodality of geology formations. Mechanism. The fundamental feature of a structure of celestial bodies is their shell structure. The most investigated is the internal structure of the Earth. For the Moon and wide set of other bodies of solar system models of an internal structure have been constructed on the basis of the data of observations obtained at studying of their gravitational fields as a result of realization of the appropriate space missions. The basic components for the majority of celestial bodies are the core, the mantle and the crust. To other shells we concern atmospheres (for example, at Venus, Mars, the Titan etc.) and oceanic shells (the Titan, the Earth, Enceladus etc.). Shells are the complex (composite) formations. Planets and satellites are not spherical celestial bodies. The centers of mass of shells of the given planet (or the satellite) and their appropriate principal axes of inertia do not coincide. Accordingly, all their shells are characterized by the certain dynamic oblatenesses. Differences of dynamical oblatenesses results in various forced influences of external celestial

  17. Earth-based planet finders power up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clery, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    NASA's Kepler spacecraft has racked up thousands of exoplanet discoveries since its launch in 2009, but before Kepler, the workhorses of exoplanet identification were ground-based instruments that measure tiny stellar wobbles caused by the gravity of an orbiting planet. They are now undergoing a quiet renaissance. The new generation of these devices may be precise enough to find a true Earth twin: a planet with the same mass as ours, orbiting a sunlike star once a year. That's something Kepler—sensitive to planet size, but not mass—can't do. Over the past few months, two new third-generation instruments have opened their eyes to the sky and nearly two dozen others are either under construction or have recently begun service.

  18. Astronomy: A small star with an Earth-like planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2015-11-01

    A rocky planet close in size to Earth has been discovered in the cosmic vicinity of our Sun. The small size and proximity of the associated star bode well for studies of the planet's atmosphere. See Letter p.204

  19. Planetarium Inversum -- a space vision for Earth education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotsch, B

    2003-01-01

    In a planetarium, the visitor is sitting on Earth and looking into an imaginary space. The Planetarium Inversum is the opposite: visitors are sitting in a space station, looking down on Mother Earth. It is a scientifically-based information show with visitors involvement, its elements being partially virtual (Earth in space has to be projected with highest possible resolution) but also containing real structures, such as the visitors' Earth observatory with adjacent biological systems (plant cultures and other ecological life support components). Its main message concerns the limits and the vulnerability of our home planet, its uniqueness, beauty and above all, its irreplaceableness: Earth does not have an emergency exit. The Earth observatory is part of a ring shaped, rotating space station of the type designed by Wernher von Braun decades ago. Visitors are told that gravity is being substituted by centrifugal force. Both types of life support systems are being demonstrated--self regenerative life based ones and technical ones as a backup (solar electric splitting of water and chemical absorption of respiratory CO2). c2003 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Life, hierarchy, and the thermodynamic machinery of planet Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleidon, Axel

    2010-12-01

    Throughout Earth's history, life has increased greatly in abundance, complexity, and diversity. At the same time, it has substantially altered the Earth's environment, evolving some of its variables to states further and further away from thermodynamic equilibrium. For instance, concentrations in atmospheric oxygen have increased throughout Earth's history, resulting in an increased chemical disequilibrium in the atmosphere as well as an increased redox gradient between the atmosphere and the Earth's reducing crust. These trends seem to contradict the second law of thermodynamics, which states for isolated systems that gradients and free energy are dissipated over time, resulting in a state of thermodynamic equilibrium. This seeming contradiction is resolved by considering planet Earth as a coupled, hierarchical and evolving non-equilibrium thermodynamic system that has been substantially altered by the input of free energy generated by photosynthetic life. Here, I present this hierarchical thermodynamic theory of the Earth system. I first present simple considerations to show that thermodynamic variables are driven away from a state of thermodynamic equilibrium by the transfer of power from some other process and that the resulting state of disequilibrium reflects the past net work done on the variable. This is applied to the processes of planet Earth to characterize the generation and transfer of free energy and its dissipation, from radiative gradients to temperature and chemical potential gradients that result in chemical, kinetic, and potential free energy and associated dynamics of the climate system and geochemical cycles. The maximization of power transfer among the processes within this hierarchy yields thermodynamic efficiencies much lower than the Carnot efficiency of equilibrium thermodynamics and is closely related to the proposed principle of Maximum Entropy Production (MEP). The role of life is then discussed as a photochemical process that generates

  1. Earthlike planets: Surfaces of Mercury, Venus, earth, moon, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, B.; Malin, M. C.; Greeley, R.

    1981-01-01

    The surfaces of the earth and the other terrestrial planets of the inner solar system are reviewed in light of the results of recent planetary explorations. Past and current views of the origin of the earth, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are discussed, and the surface features characteristic of the moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus are outlined. Mechanisms for the modification of planetary surfaces by external factors and from within the planet are examined, including surface cycles, meteoritic impact, gravity, wind, plate tectonics, volcanism and crustal deformation. The origin and evolution of the moon are discussed on the basis of the Apollo results, and current knowledge of Mercury and Mars is examined in detail. Finally, the middle periods in the history of the terrestrial planets are compared, and future prospects for the exploration of the inner planets as well as other rocky bodies in the solar system are discussed.

  2. The Earth is a Planet Too!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cairns, Brian

    2014-01-01

    When the solar system formed, the sun was 30 dimmer than today and Venus had an ocean. As the sun brightened, a runaway greenhouse effect caused the Venus ocean to boil away. At times when Earth was younger, the sun less bright, and atmospheric CO2 less, Earth froze over (snowball Earth). Earth is in the sweet spot today. Venus is closer to sun than Earth is, but cloud-covered Venus absorbs only 25 of incident sunlight, while Earth absorbs 70. Venus is warmer because it has a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect of several hundred degrees. Earth is Goldilocks choice among the planets, the one that is just right for life to exist. Not too hot. Not too cold. How does the Earth manage to stay in this habitable range? Is there a Gaia phenomenon keeping the climate in bounds? A nice idea, but it doesnt work. Today, greenhouse gas levels are unprecedented compared to the last 450,000 years.

  3. Kepler-62: a five-planet system with planets of 1.4 and 1.6 Earth radii in the habitable zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William J; Agol, Eric; Fressin, Francois; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Rowe, Jason; Isaacson, Howard; Fischer, Debra; Batalha, Natalie; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Fabrycky, Daniel; Désert, Jean-Michel; Bryson, Stephen T; Barclay, Thomas; Bastien, Fabienne; Boss, Alan; Brugamyer, Erik; Buchhave, Lars A; Burke, Chris; Caldwell, Douglas A; Carter, Josh; Charbonneau, David; Crepp, Justin R; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Christiansen, Jessie L; Ciardi, David; Cochran, William D; DeVore, Edna; Doyle, Laurance; Dupree, Andrea K; Endl, Michael; Everett, Mark E; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan; Gautier, Thomas N; Geary, John C; Gould, Alan; Haas, Michael; Henze, Christopher; Howard, Andrew W; Howell, Steve B; Huber, Daniel; Jenkins, Jon M; Kjeldsen, Hans; Kolbl, Rea; Kolodziejczak, Jeffery; Latham, David W; Lee, Brian L; Lopez, Eric; Mullally, Fergal; Orosz, Jerome A; Prsa, Andrej; Quintana, Elisa V; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Sasselov, Dimitar; Seader, Shawn; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H; Still, Martin; Tenenbaum, Peter; Thompson, Susan E; Torres, Guillermo; Twicken, Joseph D; Welsh, William F; Winn, Joshua N

    2013-05-03

    We present the detection of five planets--Kepler-62b, c, d, e, and f--of size 1.31, 0.54, 1.95, 1.61 and 1.41 Earth radii (R⊕), orbiting a K2V star at periods of 5.7, 12.4, 18.2, 122.4, and 267.3 days, respectively. The outermost planets, Kepler-62e and -62f, are super-Earth-size (1.25 R⊕ planet radius ≤ 2.0 R⊕) planets in the habitable zone of their host star, respectively receiving 1.2 ± 0.2 times and 0.41 ± 0.05 times the solar flux at Earth's orbit. Theoretical models of Kepler-62e and -62f for a stellar age of ~7 billion years suggest that both planets could be solid, either with a rocky composition or composed of mostly solid water in their bulk.

  4. Earth-type planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marov, M. Y.; Davydov, V. D.

    1975-01-01

    Spacecraft- and Earth-based studies on the physical nature of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars are reported. Charts and graphs are presented on planetary surface properties, rotational parameters, atmospheric compositions, and astronomical characteristics.

  5. Homes for extraterrestrial life: extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latham, D W

    2001-12-01

    Astronomers are now discovering giant planets orbiting other stars like the sun by the dozens. But none of these appears to be a small rocky planet like the earth, and thus these planets are unlikely to be capable of supporting life as we know it. The recent discovery of a system of three planets is especially significant because it supports the speculation that planetary systems, as opposed to single orbiting planets, may be common. Our ability to detect extrasolar planets will continue to improve, and space missions now in development should be able to detect earth-like planets.

  6. Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light-Years from Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, Mark

    2008-01-01

    Fomalhaut is a bright star 7.7 parsec (25 light year) from Earth that harbors a belt of cold dust with a structure consistent with gravitational sculpting by an orbiting planet. Here, we present optical observations of an exoplanet candidate. Fomalhaut b. In the plane of the belt, Fomalhaut b lies approximately 119 astronomical units (AU) from the star, and within 18 All of the dust belt. We detect counterclockwise orbital motion using Hubble Space Telescope observations separated by 1.73 years. Dynamical models of the interaction between the planet and the belt indicate that the planet's mass is at most three times that of Jupiter for the belt to avoid gravitational disruption. The flux detected at 0.8 micron flux is also consistent with that of a planet with mass a few limes that of Jupiter. The brightness at 0.6 microns and the lack of detection at longer wavelengths suggest that the detected flux may include starlight reflected off a circumplanetary disk, with dimension comparable to the orbits of the Galilean satellites. We also observed variability of unknown origin at 0.6 microns.

  7. Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light Years from Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalas, Paul; Graham, James R.; Chiang, Eugene; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Clampin, Mark; Kite, Edwin S.; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Marois, Christian; Krist, John

    2008-01-01

    Fomalhaut is a bright star 7.7 parsecs (25 light years) from Earth that harbors a belt of cold dust with a structure consistent with gravitational sculpting by an orbiting planet. Here, we present optical observations of an exoplanet candidate, Fomalhaut b. In the plane of the belt, Fomalhaut b lies approximately 119 astronomical units (AU) from the star and 18 AU from the dust belt, matching predictions. We detect counterclockwise orbital motion using Hubble Space Telescope observations separated by 1.73 years. Dynamical models of the interaction between the planet and the belt indicate that the planet's mass is at most three times that of Jupiter for the belt to avoid gravitational disruption. The flux detected at 0.8 m is also consistent with that of a planet with mass no greater than a few times that of Jupiter. The brightness at 0.6 micron and the lack of detection at longer wavelengths suggest that the detected flux may include starlight reflected off a circumplanetary disk, with dimension comparable to the orbits of the Galilean satellites. We also observed variability of unknown origin at 0.6 micron.

  8. MESSENGER, MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging; A Mission to Orbit and Explore the Planet Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    MESSENGER is a scientific mission to Mercury. Understanding this extraordinary planet and the forces that have shaped it is fundamental to understanding the processes that have governed the formation, evolution, and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. MESSENGER is a MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury for one Earth year after completing two flybys of that planet following two flybys of Venus. The necessary flybys return significant new data early in the mission, while the orbital phase, guided by the flyby data, enables a focused scientific investigation of this least-studied terrestrial planet. Answers to key questions about Mercury's high density, crustal composition and structure, volcanic history, core structure, magnetic field generation, polar deposits, exosphere, overall volatile inventory, and magnetosphere are provided by an optimized set of miniaturized space instruments. Our goal is to gain new insight into the formation and evolution of the solar system, including Earth. By traveling to the inner edge of the solar system and exploring a poorly known world, MESSENGER fulfills this quest.

  9. AN ANCIENT EXTRASOLAR SYSTEM WITH FIVE SUB-EARTH-SIZE PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Chaplin, W. J.; Handberg, R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Barclay, T.; Huber, D.; Burke, C. J.; Quintana, E. V. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Swift, J. J. [Department of Astronomy and Department of Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Adibekyan, V. Zh. [Centro de Astrofísica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Cochran, W. [Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas at Austin, TX 78712-1205 (United States); Isaacson, H. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Silva Aguirre, V.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Bedding, T. R. [Stellar Astrophysics Centre (SAC), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Ragozzine, D. [Department of Physics and Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 West University Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32901 (United States); Riddle, R. [Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Baranec, C. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720-2700 (United States); Basu, S., E-mail: campante@bison.ph.bham.ac.uk [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); and others

    2015-02-01

    The chemical composition of stars hosting small exoplanets (with radii less than four Earth radii) appears to be more diverse than that of gas-giant hosts, which tend to be metal-rich. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the universe's history when metals were more scarce. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of Kepler-444, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk and the host to a compact system of five transiting planets with sizes between those of Mercury and Venus. We validate this system as a true five-planet system orbiting the target star and provide a detailed characterization of its planetary and orbital parameters based on an analysis of the transit photometry. Kepler-444 is the densest star with detected solar-like oscillations. We use asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that Kepler-444 formed when the universe was less than 20% of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the universe's 13.8 billion year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy. The age of Kepler-444 not only suggests that thick-disk stars were among the hosts to the first Galactic planets, but may also help to pinpoint the beginning of the era of planet formation.

  10. AN ANCIENT EXTRASOLAR SYSTEM WITH FIVE SUB-EARTH-SIZE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Chaplin, W. J.; Handberg, R.; Barclay, T.; Huber, D.; Burke, C. J.; Quintana, E. V.; Swift, J. J.; Adibekyan, V. Zh.; Cochran, W.; Isaacson, H.; Silva Aguirre, V.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Bedding, T. R.; Ragozzine, D.; Riddle, R.; Baranec, C.; Basu, S.

    2015-01-01

    The chemical composition of stars hosting small exoplanets (with radii less than four Earth radii) appears to be more diverse than that of gas-giant hosts, which tend to be metal-rich. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the universe's history when metals were more scarce. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of Kepler-444, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk and the host to a compact system of five transiting planets with sizes between those of Mercury and Venus. We validate this system as a true five-planet system orbiting the target star and provide a detailed characterization of its planetary and orbital parameters based on an analysis of the transit photometry. Kepler-444 is the densest star with detected solar-like oscillations. We use asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that Kepler-444 formed when the universe was less than 20% of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the universe's 13.8 billion year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy. The age of Kepler-444 not only suggests that thick-disk stars were among the hosts to the first Galactic planets, but may also help to pinpoint the beginning of the era of planet formation

  11. Earth as an extrasolar planet: Earth model validation using EPOXI earth observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler D; Meadows, Victoria S; Crisp, David; Deming, Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Livengood, Timothy A; Seager, Sara; Barry, Richard K; Hearty, Thomas; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Wellnitz, Dennis D

    2011-06-01

    The EPOXI Discovery Mission of Opportunity reused the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to obtain spatially and temporally resolved visible photometric and moderate resolution near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of Earth. These remote observations provide a rigorous validation of whole-disk Earth model simulations used to better understand remotely detectable extrasolar planet characteristics. We have used these data to upgrade, correct, and validate the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model. This comprehensive model now includes specular reflectance from the ocean and explicitly includes atmospheric effects such as Rayleigh scattering, gas absorption, and temperature structure. We have used this model to generate spatially and temporally resolved synthetic spectra and images of Earth for the dates of EPOXI observation. Model parameters were varied to yield an optimum fit to the data. We found that a minimum spatial resolution of ∼100 pixels on the visible disk, and four categories of water clouds, which were defined by using observed cloud positions and optical thicknesses, were needed to yield acceptable fits. The validated model provides a simultaneous fit to Earth's lightcurve, absolute brightness, and spectral data, with a root-mean-square (RMS) error of typically less than 3% for the multiwavelength lightcurves and residuals of ∼10% for the absolute brightness throughout the visible and NIR spectral range. We have extended our validation into the mid-infrared by comparing the model to high spectral resolution observations of Earth from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, obtaining a fit with residuals of ∼7% and brightness temperature errors of less than 1 K in the atmospheric window. For the purpose of understanding the observable characteristics of the distant Earth at arbitrary viewing geometry and observing cadence, our validated forward model can be

  12. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R. [Department of Physical Sciences, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Bagnulo, S. [Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG (United Kingdom); Kowalski, P. M. [GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam (Germany); Shulyak, D. V. [Institute of Astrophysics, Georg-August-University, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, D-37077 Goettingen (Germany); Sterzik, M. F., E-mail: l.fossati@open.ac.uk, E-mail: C.A.Haswell@open.ac.uk, E-mail: M.R.Patel@open.ac.uk, E-mail: r.busuttil@open.ac.uk, E-mail: sba@arm.ac.uk, E-mail: kowalski@gfz-potsdam.de, E-mail: denis.shulyak@gmail.com, E-mail: msterzik@eso.org [European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19 (Chile)

    2012-09-20

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for {approx}8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10{sup 2} (10{sup 4}) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M{sub Sun} white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  13. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R.; Bagnulo, S.; Kowalski, P. M.; Shulyak, D. V.; Sterzik, M. F.

    2012-01-01

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for ∼8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10 2 (10 4 ) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M ☉ white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  14. Origin of the atmospheres of the earth and the planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Z M

    1978-06-01

    From a systematic analysis of the whole history of the protoplanetary cloud and the observational facts of the earth's atmosphere, new theory is proposed on the origin of the atmospheres of the earth and the planets. For the earth-like planets, there were profound primordial atmospheres originated from the protoplanetary cloud by the accretion of the embryoes of planets. These primordial atmospheres has existed in a time scale of 10/sup 3/ to 10/sup 7/ years and were composed of chemically reducing gases. The presence of such a reducing atmosphere may be of great significance to the theories of cosmogony and the origin of life. The contents are as follows: the escape of the nebulae and the planetary atmospheres, the blowing-off of the atmospheres and the disspiation of gases driven by the solar wind, the accretion of gases by the planetary embryoes, the primordial atmospheres.

  15. Spectra of Earth-like Planets through Geological Evolution around FGKM Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rugheimer, S.; Kaltenegger, L.

    2018-02-01

    Future observations of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres will occur for planets at different stages of geological evolution. We expect to observe a wide variety of atmospheres and planets with alternative evolutionary paths, with some planets resembling Earth at different epochs. For an Earth-like atmospheric time trajectory, we simulate planets from the prebiotic to the current atmosphere based on geological data. We use a stellar grid F0V to M8V ({T}{eff}=7000–2400 K) to model four geological epochs of Earth's history corresponding to a prebiotic world (3.9 Ga), the rise of oxygen at 2.0 Ga and at 0.8 Ga, and the modern Earth. We show the VIS–IR spectral features, with a focus on biosignatures through geological time for this grid of Sun-like host stars and the effect of clouds on their spectra. We find that the observability of biosignature gases reduces with increasing cloud cover and increases with planetary age. The observability of the visible O2 feature for lower concentrations will partly depend on clouds, which, while slightly reducing the feature, increase the overall reflectivity, and thus the detectable flux of a planet. The depth of the IR ozone feature contributes substantially to the opacity at lower oxygen concentrations, especially for the high near-UV stellar environments around F stars. Our results are a grid of model spectra for atmospheres representative of Earth's geological history to inform future observations and instrument design and are available online at http://carlsaganinstitute.org/data/.

  16. Two drastically different climate states on an Earth-like terra-planet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kalidindi

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available We study an Earth-like terra-planet (water-limited terrestrial planet with an overland recycling mechanism bringing fresh water back from the high latitudes to the low latitudes. By performing model simulations for such a planet we find two drastically different climate states for the same set of boundary conditions and parameter values: a cold and wet (CW state with dominant low-latitude precipitation and a hot and dry (HD state with only high-latitude precipitation. We notice that for perpetual equinox conditions, both climate states are stable below a certain threshold value of background soil albedo while above the threshold only the CW state is stable. Starting from the HD state and increasing background soil albedo above the threshold causes an abrupt shift from the HD state to the CW state resulting in a sudden cooling of about 35 °C globally, which is of the order of the temperature difference between present day and the Snowball Earth state. When albedo starting from the CW state is reduced down to zero the terra-planet does not shift back to the HD state (no closed hysteresis. This is due to the high cloud cover in the CW state hiding the surface from solar irradiation so that surface albedo has only a minor effect on the top of the atmosphere radiation balance. Additional simulations with present-day Earth's obliquity all lead to the CW state, suggesting a similar abrupt transition from the HD state to the CW state when increasing obliquity from zero. Our study also has implications for the habitability of Earth-like terra-planets. At the inner edge of the habitable zone, the higher cloud cover in the CW state cools the planet and may prevent the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. At the outer edge, the resupply of water at low latitudes stabilizes the greenhouse effect and keeps the planet in the HD state and may prevent water from getting trapped at high latitudes in frozen form. Overall, the existence of bistability in the

  17. International Conference and Advanced School Planet Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Jeltsch, Rolf; Pinto, Alberto; Viana, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    The focus of this volume is research carried out as part of the program Mathematics of Planet Earth, which provides a platform to showcase the essential role of mathematics in addressing problems of an economic and social nature and creating a context for mathematicians and applied scientists to foster mathematical and interdisciplinary developments that will be necessary to tackle a myriad of issues and meet future global economic and social challenges. Earth is a planet with dynamic processes in its mantle, oceans and atmosphere creating climate, causing natural disasters, and influencing fundamental aspects of life and life-supporting systems. In addition to these natural processes, human activity has developed highly complex systems, including economic and financial systems; the World Wide Web; frameworks for resource management, transportation, energy production and utilization; health care delivery, and social organizations. This development has increased to the point where it impacts the stability and ...

  18. A Google Earth Grand Tour of the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Paor, Declan; Coba, Filis; Burgin, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Google Earth is a powerful instructional resource for geoscience education. We have extended the virtual globe to include all terrestrial planets. Downloadable Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files (Google Earth's scripting language) associated with this paper include lessons about Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars. We created "grand…

  19. Edible Earth and Space Science Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubowich, D.; Shupla, C.

    2014-07-01

    In this workshop we describe using Earth and Space Science demonstrations with edible ingredients to increase student interest. We show how to use chocolate, candy, cookies, popcorn, bagels, pastries, Pringles, marshmallows, whipped cream, and Starburst candy for activities such as: plate tectonics, the interior structure of the Earth and Mars, radioactivity/radioactive dating of rocks and stars, formation of the planets, lunar phases, convection, comets, black holes, curvature of space, dark energy, and the expansion of the Universe. In addition to creating an experience that will help students remember specific concepts, edible activities can be used as a formative assessment, providing students with the opportunity to create something that demonstrates their understanding of the model. The students often eat the demonstrations. These demonstrations are an effective teaching tool for all ages, and can be adapted for cultural, culinary, and ethnic differences among the students.

  20. GEODYNAMICS AND RATE OF VOLCANISM ON MASSIVE EARTH-LIKE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kite, E. S.; Manga, M.; Gaidos, E.

    2009-01-01

    We provide estimates of volcanism versus time for planets with Earth-like composition and masses 0.25-25 M + , as a step toward predicting atmospheric mass on extrasolar rocky planets. Volcanism requires melting of the silicate mantle. We use a thermal evolution model, calibrated against Earth, in combination with standard melting models, to explore the dependence of convection-driven decompression mantle melting on planet mass. We show that (1) volcanism is likely to proceed on massive planets with plate tectonics over the main-sequence lifetime of the parent star; (2) crustal thickness (and melting rate normalized to planet mass) is weakly dependent on planet mass; (3) stagnant lid planets live fast (they have higher rates of melting than their plate tectonic counterparts early in their thermal evolution), but die young (melting shuts down after a few Gyr); (4) plate tectonics may not operate on high-mass planets because of the production of buoyant crust which is difficult to subduct; and (5) melting is necessary but insufficient for efficient volcanic degassing-volatiles partition into the earliest, deepest melts, which may be denser than the residue and sink to the base of the mantle on young, massive planets. Magma must also crystallize at or near the surface, and the pressure of overlying volatiles must be fairly low, if volatiles are to reach the surface. If volcanism is detected in the 10 Gyr-old τ Ceti system, and tidal forcing can be shown to be weak, this would be evidence for plate tectonics.

  1. Tracing the ingredients for a habitable earth from interstellar space through planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergin, Edwin A; Blake, Geoffrey A; Ciesla, Fred; Hirschmann, Marc M; Li, Jie

    2015-07-21

    We use the C/N ratio as a monitor of the delivery of key ingredients of life to nascent terrestrial worlds. Total elemental C and N contents, and their ratio, are examined for the interstellar medium, comets, chondritic meteorites, and terrestrial planets; we include an updated estimate for the bulk silicate Earth (C/N = 49.0 ± 9.3). Using a kinetic model of disk chemistry, and the sublimation/condensation temperatures of primitive molecules, we suggest that organic ices and macromolecular (refractory or carbonaceous dust) organic material are the likely initial C and N carriers. Chemical reactions in the disk can produce nebular C/N ratios of ∼1-12, comparable to those of comets and the low end estimated for planetesimals. An increase of the C/N ratio is traced between volatile-rich pristine bodies and larger volatile-depleted objects subjected to thermal/accretional metamorphism. The C/N ratios of the dominant materials accreted to terrestrial planets should therefore be higher than those seen in carbonaceous chondrites or comets. During planetary formation, we explore scenarios leading to further volatile loss and associated C/N variations owing to core formation and atmospheric escape. Key processes include relative enrichment of nitrogen in the atmosphere and preferential sequestration of carbon by the core. The high C/N bulk silicate Earth ratio therefore is best satisfied by accretion of thermally processed objects followed by large-scale atmospheric loss. These two effects must be more profound if volatile sequestration in the core is effective. The stochastic nature of these processes hints that the surface/atmospheric abundances of biosphere-essential materials will likely be variable.

  2. Remote Sensing Data Analytics for Planetary Science with PlanetServer/EarthServer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Angelo Pio; Figuera, Ramiro Marco; Flahaut, Jessica; Martinot, Melissa; Misev, Dimitar; Baumann, Peter; Pham Huu, Bang; Besse, Sebastien

    2016-04-01

    https://github.com/planetserver References: Baumann, P., et al. (2015) Big Data Analytics for Earth Sciences: the EarthServer approach, International Journal of Digital Earth, doi: 10.1080/17538947.2014.1003106. Cantini, F. et al. (2014) Geophys. Res. Abs., Vol. 16, #EGU2014-3784. Gaddis, L., and T. Hare (2015), Status of tools and data for planetary research, Eos, 96, dos: 10.1029/2015EO041125. Hogan, P., 2011. NASA World Wind: Infrastructure for Spatial Data. Technical report. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Computing for Geospatial Research & Applications ACM. Oosthoek, J.H.P, et al. (2013) Advances in Space Research. doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2013.07.002. Rossi, A. P., et al. (2014) PlanetServer/EarthServer: Big Data analytics in Planetary Science. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, #EGU2014-5149.

  3. EVOLUTIONARY TRACKS OF THE CLIMATE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS AROUND DIFFERENT MASS STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadoya, S.; Tajika, E., E-mail: kadoya@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp, E-mail: tajika@eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Faculty of Science Bldg. 1 #711, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 (Japan)

    2016-07-10

    The climatic evolution of the Earth depends strongly on the evolution of the insolation from the Sun and the amount of the greenhouse gasses, especially CO{sub 2} in the atmosphere. Here, we investigate the evolution of the climate of hypothetical Earths around stars whose masses are different from the solar mass with a luminosity evolution model of the stars, a mantle degassing model coupled with a parameterized convection model of the planetary interiors, and an energy balance climate model of the planetary surface. In the habitable zone (HZ), the climate of the planets is initially warm or hot, depending on the orbital semimajor axes. We found that, in the inner HZ, the climate of the planets becomes hotter with time owing to the increase in the luminosity of the central stars, while, in the outer HZ, it becomes colder and eventually globally ice-covered owing to the decrease in the CO{sub 2} degassing rate of the planets. The orbital condition for maintaining the warm climate similar to the present Earth becomes very limited, and more interestingly, the planet orbiting in the outer HZ becomes globally ice-covered after a certain critical age (∼3 Gyr for the hypothetical Earth with standard parameters), irrespective of the mass of the central star. This is because the critical age depends on the evolution of the planets and planetary factors, rather than on the stellar mass. The habitability of the Earth-like planet is shown to be limited with age even though it is orbiting within the HZ.

  4. EVOLUTIONARY TRACKS OF THE CLIMATE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS AROUND DIFFERENT MASS STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kadoya, S.; Tajika, E.

    2016-01-01

    The climatic evolution of the Earth depends strongly on the evolution of the insolation from the Sun and the amount of the greenhouse gasses, especially CO_2 in the atmosphere. Here, we investigate the evolution of the climate of hypothetical Earths around stars whose masses are different from the solar mass with a luminosity evolution model of the stars, a mantle degassing model coupled with a parameterized convection model of the planetary interiors, and an energy balance climate model of the planetary surface. In the habitable zone (HZ), the climate of the planets is initially warm or hot, depending on the orbital semimajor axes. We found that, in the inner HZ, the climate of the planets becomes hotter with time owing to the increase in the luminosity of the central stars, while, in the outer HZ, it becomes colder and eventually globally ice-covered owing to the decrease in the CO_2 degassing rate of the planets. The orbital condition for maintaining the warm climate similar to the present Earth becomes very limited, and more interestingly, the planet orbiting in the outer HZ becomes globally ice-covered after a certain critical age (∼3 Gyr for the hypothetical Earth with standard parameters), irrespective of the mass of the central star. This is because the critical age depends on the evolution of the planets and planetary factors, rather than on the stellar mass. The habitability of the Earth-like planet is shown to be limited with age even though it is orbiting within the HZ.

  5. The International Year of Planet Earth (2007-2009):Earth Sciences for Society

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Eduardo F.J.de Mulder; Ted Nield; Edward Derbyshire

    2006-01-01

    Natural disasters like the 2004 tsunami bear graphic testimony to the Earth's incredible power. More effective use of geoscientific knowledge can save lives and protect property. Such knowledge also enables us to satisfy, in a sustainable manner,the growing need for Earth's resources by an expanding human population. Such knowledge is readily available in the practical experience and publications of some half a million Earth scientists all over the world, a professional community that is ready and willing to contribute to a safer, healthier and wealthier society if called upon by politicians and decision makers. Professional guidance by Earth scientists is available in many aspects of everyday life including, for example, identification of the best areas for urban expansion, sites to avoid for waste disposal, the location of new underground fresh water resources, and where certain toxic agents implicated in Earth-related diseases may be located, etc.The International Year of Planet Earth (2007-2009) aims to build on existing knowledge and make it more available for the improvement of everyday life, especially in the less developed countries, as expressed in the Year's subtitle: Earth sciences for Society. Ambitious outreach and science programmes constitute the backbone of the International Year, now politically endorsed by all 191 member states of the United Nations Organisation which has proclaimed 2008, the central year of the triennium, as the UN Year of Planet Earth. This paper describes who is behind the initiative,how it will work, and how the political process leading to United Nations proclamation proceeded. It also describes the financial and organisational aspects of the International Year, sets out the commitments necessary for the realization of the Year's ambitions by all nations, and explains how the raising of US$ 20 million will be approached.

  6. Extrasolar Giant Planet in Earth-like Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-07-01

    companion . iota Hor b has an orbital period of 320 days. From this period, the known mass of the central star (1.03 solar masses) and the amplitude of the velocity changes, a mass of at least 2.26 times that of planet Jupiter is deduced for the planet. It revolves around the host star in a somewhat elongated orbit (the eccentricity is 0.16). If it were located in our own solar system, this orbit would stretch from just outside the orbit of Venus (at 117 million km or 0.78 Astronomical Units from the Sun) to just outside the orbit of the Earth (the point farthest from the Sun, at 162 million km or 1.08 Astronomical Units) The new giant planet is thus moving in an orbit not unlike that of the Earth. In fact, of all the planets discovered so far, the orbit of iota Hor b is the most Earth-like. Also, with a spectral type of G0 V , its host star is quite similar to the Sun (G2 V). iota Hor b is, however, at least 720 times more massive than the Earth and it is probably more similar to planet Jupiter in our own solar system. While the radial velocity technique described above only determines a minimum value for the planet's mass, an analysis of the velocity with which the star turns around its own axis suggests that the true mass of iota Hor b is unlikely to be much higher. A difficult case Natural phenomena with periods near one solar year always present a particular challenge to astronomers. This is one of the reasons why it has been necessary to observe the iota Hor system for such a long time to be absolutely sure about the present result. First, special care must be taken to verify that the radial velocity variations found in the data are not an artefact of the Earth's movement around the Sun. In any case, the effect of this movement on the measurements must be accurately accounted for; it reaches about ± 30 km/sec over one year, i.e. much larger than the effect of the new planet. In the present case of iota Hor , this was thoroughly tested and any residual influence of

  7. THE STEPPENWOLF: A PROPOSAL FOR A HABITABLE PLANET IN INTERSTELLAR SPACE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abbot, D. S.; Switzer, E. R.

    2011-01-01

    Rogue planets have been ejected from their planetary system. We investigate the possibility that a rogue planet could maintain a liquid ocean under layers of thermally insulating water ice and frozen gas as a result of geothermal heat flux. We find that a rogue planet of Earth-like composition and age could maintain a subglacial liquid ocean if it were ∼3.5 times more massive than Earth, corresponding to ∼8 km of ice. Suppression of the melting point by contaminants, a layer of frozen gas, or a larger complement of water could significantly reduce the planetary mass that is required to maintain a liquid ocean. Such a planet could be detected from reflected solar radiation, and its thermal emission could be characterized in the far-IR if it were to pass within O(1000) AU of Earth.

  8. Star Masses and Star-Planet Distances for Earth-like Habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waltham, David

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents statistical estimates for the location and duration of habitable zones (HZs) around stars of different mass. The approach is based upon the assumption that Earth's location, and the Sun's mass, should not be highly atypical of inhabited planets. The results support climate-model-based estimates for the location of the Sun's HZ except models giving a present-day outer-edge beyond 1.64 AU. The statistical approach also demonstrates that there is a habitability issue for stars smaller than 0.65 solar masses since, otherwise, Earth would be an extremely atypical inhabited world. It is difficult to remove this anomaly using the assumption that poor habitability of planets orbiting low-mass stars results from unfavorable radiation regimes either before, or after, their stars enter the main sequence. However, the anomaly is well explained if poor habitability results from tidal locking of planets in the HZs of small stars. The expected host-star mass for planets with intelligent life then has a 95% confidence range of 0.78 M ⊙ planets with at least simple life is 0.57 M ⊙  < M < 1.64 M ⊙ . Key Words: Habitability-Habitable zone-Anthropic-Red dwarfs-Initial mass function. Astrobiology 17, 61-77.

  9. Discovery of Temperate Earth-Sized Planets Transiting a Nearby Ultracool Dwarf Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jehin, Emmanuel; Gillon, Michael; Lederer, Susan M.; Delrez, Laetitia; De Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Van Grootel, Valerie; Burgasser, Adam; Triaud, Amaury; Demory, Brice-Olivier; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star using data collected by the Liège TRAPPIST telescope, located in la Silla (Chile). TRAPPIST-1 is an isolated M8.0+/-0.5-type dwarf star at a distance of 12.0+/-0.4 parsecs as measured by its trigonometric parallax, with an age constrained to be > 500 Myr, and with a luminosity, mass, and radius of 0.05%, 8% and 11.5% those of the Sun, respectively. The small size of the host star, only slightly larger than Jupiter, translates into Earth-like radii for the three discovered planets, as deduced from their transit depths. The inner two planets receive four and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star. Several orbits remain possible for the third planet based on our current data. The infrared brightness of the host star combined with its Jupiter-like size offer the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system.

  10. UV SURFACE ENVIRONMENT OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING FGKM STARS THROUGH GEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rugheimer, S.; Sasselov, D. [Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden st., 02138 MA Cambridge (United States); Segura, A. [Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México (Mexico); Kaltenegger, L., E-mail: srugheimer@cfa.harvard.edu [Carl Sagan Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)

    2015-06-10

    The UV environment of a host star affects the photochemistry in the atmosphere, and ultimately the surface UV environment for terrestrial planets and therefore the conditions for the origin and evolution of life. We model the surface UV radiation environment for Earth-sized planets orbiting FGKM stars in the circumstellar Habitable Zone for Earth through its geological evolution. We explore four different types of atmospheres corresponding to an early-Earth atmosphere at 3.9 Gyr ago and three atmospheres covering the rise of oxygen to present-day levels at 2.0 Gyr ago, 0.8 Gyr ago, and modern Earth. In addition to calculating the UV flux on the surface of the planet, we model the biologically effective irradiance, using DNA damage as a proxy for biological damage. We find that a pre-biotic Earth (3.9 Gyr ago) orbiting an F0V star receives 6 times the biologically effective radiation as around the early Sun and 3520 times the modern Earth–Sun levels. A pre-biotic Earth orbiting GJ 581 (M3.5 V) receives 300 times less biologically effective radiation, about 2 times modern Earth–Sun levels. The UV fluxes calculated here provide a grid of model UV environments during the evolution of an Earth-like planet orbiting a range of stars. These models can be used as inputs into photo-biological experiments and for pre-biotic chemistry and early life evolution experiments.

  11. UV SURFACE ENVIRONMENT OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING FGKM STARS THROUGH GEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rugheimer, S.; Sasselov, D.; Segura, A.; Kaltenegger, L.

    2015-01-01

    The UV environment of a host star affects the photochemistry in the atmosphere, and ultimately the surface UV environment for terrestrial planets and therefore the conditions for the origin and evolution of life. We model the surface UV radiation environment for Earth-sized planets orbiting FGKM stars in the circumstellar Habitable Zone for Earth through its geological evolution. We explore four different types of atmospheres corresponding to an early-Earth atmosphere at 3.9 Gyr ago and three atmospheres covering the rise of oxygen to present-day levels at 2.0 Gyr ago, 0.8 Gyr ago, and modern Earth. In addition to calculating the UV flux on the surface of the planet, we model the biologically effective irradiance, using DNA damage as a proxy for biological damage. We find that a pre-biotic Earth (3.9 Gyr ago) orbiting an F0V star receives 6 times the biologically effective radiation as around the early Sun and 3520 times the modern Earth–Sun levels. A pre-biotic Earth orbiting GJ 581 (M3.5 V) receives 300 times less biologically effective radiation, about 2 times modern Earth–Sun levels. The UV fluxes calculated here provide a grid of model UV environments during the evolution of an Earth-like planet orbiting a range of stars. These models can be used as inputs into photo-biological experiments and for pre-biotic chemistry and early life evolution experiments

  12. Dynamically hot Super-Earths from outer giant planet scattering

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Chelsea X.; Petrovich, Cristobal; Deibert, Emily

    2016-01-01

    The hundreds of multiple planetary systems discovered by the \\textit{Kepler} mission are typically observed to reside in close-in ($\\lesssim0.5$ AU), low-eccentricity, and low-inclination orbits. We run N-body experiments to study the effect that unstable outer ($\\gtrsim1$ AU) giant planets, whose end orbital configurations resemble those in the Radial Velocity population, have on these close-in multiple super-Earth systems. Our experiments show that the giant planets greatly reduce the multi...

  13. Planet earth a beginner's guide

    CERN Document Server

    Gribbin, John

    2012-01-01

    In this incredible expedition into the origins, workings, and evolution of our home planet, John Gribbin, bestselling author of In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, The Scientists, and In Search of the Multiverse, does what he does best: taking four and a half billion years of mind-boggling science and digging out the best bits. From the physics of Newton and the geology of Wegener, to the environmentalism of Lovelock, this is a must read for Earth's scientists and residents alike. Trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University, John Gribbin is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex, England.

  14. Occurrence and core-envelope structure of 1-4× Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W; Weiss, Lauren M; Petigura, Erik A; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W; Buchhave, Lars A

    2014-09-02

    Small planets, 1-4× the size of Earth, are extremely common around Sun-like stars, and surprisingly so, as they are missing in our solar system. Recent detections have yielded enough information about this class of exoplanets to begin characterizing their occurrence rates, orbits, masses, densities, and internal structures. The Kepler mission finds the smallest planets to be most common, as 26% of Sun-like stars have small, 1-2 R⊕ planets with orbital periods under 100 d, and 11% have 1-2 R⊕ planets that receive 1-4× the incident stellar flux that warms our Earth. These Earth-size planets are sprinkled uniformly with orbital distance (logarithmically) out to 0.4 the Earth-Sun distance, and probably beyond. Mass measurements for 33 transiting planets of 1-4 R⊕ show that the smallest of them, R planets. Their densities increase with increasing radius, likely caused by gravitational compression. Including solar system planets yields a relation: ρ = 2:32 + 3:19 R=R ⊕ [g cm(-3)]. Larger planets, in the radius range 1.5-4.0 R⊕, have densities that decline with increasing radius, revealing increasing amounts of low-density material (H and He or ices) in an envelope surrounding a rocky core, befitting the appellation ''mini-Neptunes.'' The gas giant planets occur preferentially around stars that are rich in heavy elements, while rocky planets occur around stars having a range of heavy element abundances. Defining habitable zones remains difficult, without benefit of either detections of life elsewhere or an understanding of life's biochemical origins.

  15. Chances for earth-like planets and life around metal-poor stars

    OpenAIRE

    Zinnecker, Hans

    2003-01-01

    We discuss the difficulties of forming earth-like planets in metal-poor environments, such as those prevailing in the Galactic halo (Pop II), the Magellanic Clouds, and the early universe. We suggest that, with less heavy elements available, terrestrial planets will be smaller size and lower mass than in our solar system (solar metallicity). Such planets may not be able to sustain life as we know it. Therefore, the chances of very old lifeforms in the universe are slim, and a threshold metall...

  16. Hubble space telescope near-ir transmission spectroscopy of the super-Earth HD 97658B

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knutson, Heather A. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Dragomir, Diana [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Kreidberg, Laura; Bean, Jacob L. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Kempton, Eliza M.-R. [Department of Physics, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112 (United States); McCullough, P. R. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Gillon, Michael [Institut d' Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Universiteé de Liége, Liége 1 (Belgium); Homeier, Derek [Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon, F-69364 Lyon (France); Howard, Andrew W., E-mail: hknutson@caltech.edu [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2014-10-20

    Recent results from the Kepler mission indicate that super-Earths (planets with masses between 1-10 times that of the Earth) are the most common kind of planet around nearby Sun-like stars. These planets have no direct solar system analogue, and are currently one of the least well-understood classes of extrasolar planets. Many super-Earths have average densities that are consistent with a broad range of bulk compositions, including both water-dominated worlds and rocky planets covered by a thick hydrogen and helium atmosphere. Measurements of the transmission spectra of these planets offer the opportunity to resolve this degeneracy by directly constraining the scale heights and corresponding mean molecular weights of their atmospheres. We present Hubble Space Telescope near-infrared spectroscopy of two transits of the newly discovered transiting super-Earth HD 97658b. We use the Wide Field Camera 3's (WFC3) scanning mode to measure the wavelength-dependent transit depth in 30 individual bandpasses. Our averaged differential transmission spectrum has a median 1σ uncertainty of 23 ppm in individual bins, making this the most precise observation of an exoplanetary transmission spectrum obtained with WFC3 to date. Our data are inconsistent with a cloud-free solar metallicity atmosphere at the 10σ level. They are consistent at the 0.4σ level with a flat line model, as well as effectively flat models corresponding to a metal-rich atmosphere or a solar metallicity atmosphere with a cloud or haze layer located at pressures of 10 mbar or higher.

  17. Shell of Planet Earth – Global Batch Bioreactor.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hanika, Jiří; Šolcová, Olga; Kaštánek, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 40, č. 11 (2017), s. 1959-1965 ISSN 0930-7516 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR TE01020080 Institutional support: RVO:67985858 Keywords : critical raw materials * global batch bioreactor * planet earth Subject RIV: CI - Industrial Chemistry, Chemical Engineering OBOR OECD: Chemical process engineering Impact factor: 2.051, year: 2016

  18. The thermal state and evolution of the earth and terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tozer, D.C.

    1977-01-01

    In considering the problem of planetary evolution it is suggested that a completely fresh look at the working of the heat transfer process has made it possible to give a general interpretation of many of the recent discoveries of the Earth's present dynamism and past development without appealing to any but very general assumptions about the material behaviour. Once again, the flow properties of rock are in the forefront of the understanding of the Earth's internal heat while the temperature has somewhat receded into the background as a determined rather than a determining characteristic of the behaviour of the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) and the Moon. Misunderstanding about the nature of material properties has made theorists go too far in seeing planets as aggregates of potential laboratory samples, rather than as systems in their own right whose sheer size brings out behaviour requiring distinct ways of describing in situ planetary material. Study of the way in which the evolution of the terrestrial planets becomes regulated by a degree of creep resistance that is quite impossible to measure in the laboratory underlines the similarity of this situation with that which faced attempts to understand stellar evolution. (U.K.)

  19. Development of a Model of Geophysical and Geochemical Controls on Abiotic Carbon Cycling on Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neveu, M.; Felton, R.; Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Desch, S. J.; Arney, G. N.

    2017-12-01

    About 20 Earth-sized planets (0.6-1.6 Earth masses and radii) have now been discovered beyond our solar system [1]. Although such planets are prime targets in the upcoming search for atmospheric biosignatures, their composition, geology, and climate are essentially unconstrained. Yet, developing an understanding of how these factors influence planetary evolution through time and space is essential to establishing abiotic backgrounds against which any deviations can provide evidence for biological activity. To this end, we are building coupled geophysical-geochemical models of abiotic carbon cycling on such planets. Our models are controlled by atmospheric factors such as temperature and composition, and compute interior inputs to atmospheric species. They account for crustal weathering, ocean-atmosphere equilibria, and exchange with the deep interior as a function of planet composition and size (and, eventually, age).Planets in other solar systems differ from the Earth not only in their bulk physical properties, but also likely in their bulk chemical composition [2], which influences key parameters such as the vigor of mantle convection and the near-surface redox state. Therefore, simulating how variations in such parameters affect carbon cycling requires us to simulate the above processes from first principles, rather than by using arbitrary parameterizations derived from observations as is often done with models of carbon cycling on Earth [3] or extrapolations thereof [4]. As a first step, we have developed a kinetic model of crustal weathering using the PHREEQC code [5] and kinetic data from [6]. We will present the ability of such a model to replicate Earth's carbon cycle using, for the time being, parameterizations for surface-interior-atmosphere exchange processes such as volcanism (e.g., [7]).[1] exoplanet.eu, 7/28/2017.[2] Young et al. (2014) Astrobiology 14, 603-626.[3] Lerman & Wu (2008) Kinetics of Global Geochemical Cycles. In Kinetics of Water

  20. 10 years with Planet Earth essence in the primary school children drawings

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Addezio, Giuliana

    2016-04-01

    "10 years with Planet Earth" is the title of the 2016 INGV calendar for primary schools representing the review of a project conceived as support and complement of 15 years long INGV dissemination activities with schools. We realized 10 calendars together with and for primary schools, every year with a subject related to a World in constant evolution. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami waves, magnetic storms and other phenomena are manifestations of the complexity and dynamicity, which began more than four billion years ago and never halted. Since the Earth originated to the first presence of water, life and oxygen, the Cambrian explosion of species, the domain of dinosaurs, the great extinctions and glaciations, the surface of our planet experiences continents collisions, mountains and oceans formation and life forms emerging and disappearing. Every year we have launched a competition asking children to send drawings on themes chosen to stimulate learning about Earth Sciences and Planet Earth dynamics. We intended to raise awareness on issues as water resources availability, protection against natural disasters and control of environmental degradation. For each competition, we chose the most significant drawings to be included in the yearly calendar about the Earth. The authors of drawings were awarded by scientists, journalists, artists and science communicators and even by a minister. Besides the competitions, these drawings depict their own impressions and reflections, providing an opportunity to illustrate the children's point of view. From drawings and texts arise a great consideration and respect for the Planet, raising hopes that similar initiatives can contribute to increase the knowledge of the Earth and of the fragile human ecosystem in the hearts and minds of future active citizens. The project was made possible thanks to the teachers and to the wonderful students of more than 200 schools that sent about 10,000 drawings that have intrigued

  1. Two drastically different climate states on an Earth-like land planet with overland water recycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalidindi, S.; Reick, C. H.; Raddatz, T.; Claussen, M.

    2017-12-01

    Prior studies have demonstrated that habitable areas on low-obliquity land planets are confined to the edges of frozen ice caps. Whether such dry planets can maintain long-lived liquid water is unclear. Leconte et al. 2013 argue that on such planets mechanisms like gravity driven ice flows and geothermal flux can maintain liquid water at the edges of thick ice caps and this water may flow back to the lower latitudes through rivers. However, there exists no modelling study which investigates the climate of an Earth-like land planet with an overland recycling mechanism bringing fresh water back from higher to lower latitudes. In our study, by using a comprehensive climate model ICON, we find that an Earth-like land planet with an overland recycling mechanism can exist in two drastically different climate states for the same set of boundary conditions and parameter values: A Cold and Wet (CW) state with dominant low-latitude precipitation and, a Hot and Dry (HD) state with only high-latitude precipitation. For perpetual equinox conditions, both climate states are stable below a certain threshold value of background soil albedo (α) while above that only the CW state is stable. Starting from the HD state and increasing α above the threshold causes an abrupt shift from the HD state to the CW state resulting in a sudden cooling of about 35°C globally which is of the order of the temperature difference between the present-day and the Snowball Earth state. In contrast to the Snowball Earth instability, we find that the sudden cooling in our study is driven by the cloud albedo feedback rather than the snow-albedo feedback. Also, when α in the CW state is reduced back to zero the land planet does not display a closed hysteresis. Our study also has implications for the habitability of Earth-like land planets. At the inner edge of the habitable zone, the higher cloud cover in the CW state cools the planet and may prevent the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. At the outer

  2. Resource Handbook--Space Beyond the Earth. A Supplement to Basic Curriculum Guide--Science, Grades K-6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starr, John W., 3rd., Ed.

    GRADES OR AGES: Grades K-6. SUBJECT MATTER: Science; space. ORGANIZATION AND PHYSICAL APPEARANCE: The guide is divided into four units: 1) the sun, earth, and moon; 2) stars and planets; 3) exploring space; 4) man's existence in space. Each unit includes initiatory and developmental activities. There are also sections on evaluation, vocabulary,…

  3. When Earth Songs Filled the Void of Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Dennis L.

    2003-01-01

    Before the late 50's we had the planets, our Sun, the stars, galaxies, spectacular clouds of dust and very little else in our universe. There was evidence for a highly tenuous "sea" of dust in interstellar space, but little else. Space was empty above the ionized gases of our upper atmosphere, a little like there was no color in the world before the 40's. The clues were there to think otherwise, however, and in the late 50's and early 60's a few researchers dared to challenge the conventional ideas about space. It was a time of discovery and, with our new ability to fly in space, a time that launched a new science. Today that science makes it possible to literally see some of the plasmas that populate near-Earth space, which are now known to exist everywhere.

  4. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph High Accuracy Optical Propagation, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) project is considering several approaches to discovering planets orbiting stars far from earth and assessing their suitability to...

  5. Considerations for the habitable zone of super-Earth planets in Gliese 581

    OpenAIRE

    Chylek, P.; Perez, M. R.

    2007-01-01

    We assess the possibility that planets Gliese 581 c and d are within the habitable zone. In analogy with our solar system, we use an empirical definition of the habitable zone. We include assumptions such as planetary climates, and atmospheric circulation on gravitationally locked synchronous rotation. Based on the different scenarios, we argue that both planets in Gliese 581 could develop conditions for a habitable zone. In an Earth-like environment planet d could be within a habitable zone,...

  6. Simulated JWST/NIRISS Spectroscopy of Anticipated TESS Planets and Selected Super-Earths Discovered from K2 and Ground-Based Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louie, Dana; Albert, Loic; Deming, Drake

    2017-01-01

    The 2018 launch of James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), coupled with the 2017 launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), heralds a new era in Exoplanet Science, with TESS projected to detect over one thousand transiting sub-Neptune-sized planets (Ricker et al, 2014), and JWST offering unprecedented spectroscopic capabilities. Sullivan et al (2015) used Monte Carlo simulations to predict the properties of the planets that TESS is likely to detect, and published a catalog of 962 simulated TESS planets. Prior to TESS launch, the re-scoped Kepler K2 mission and ground-based surveys such as MEarth continue to seek nearby Earth-like exoplanets orbiting M-dwarf host stars. The exoplanet community will undoubtedly employ JWST for atmospheric characterization follow-up studies of promising exoplanets, but the targeted planets for these studies must be chosen wisely to maximize JWST science return. The goal of this project is to estimate the capabilities of JWST’s Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS)—operating with the GR700XD grism in Single Object Slitless Spectrography (SOSS) mode—during observations of exoplanets transiting their host stars. We compare results obtained for the simulated TESS planets, confirmed K2-discovered super-Earths, and exoplanets discovered using ground-based surveys. By determining the target planet characteristics that result in the most favorable JWST observing conditions, we can optimize the choice of target planets in future JWST follow-on atmospheric characterization studies.

  7. The most conserved genome segments for life detection on Earth and other planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isenbarger, Thomas A; Carr, Christopher E; Johnson, Sarah Stewart; Finney, Michael; Church, George M; Gilbert, Walter; Zuber, Maria T; Ruvkun, Gary

    2008-12-01

    On Earth, very simple but powerful methods to detect and classify broad taxa of life by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are now standard practice. Using DNA primers corresponding to the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, one can survey a sample from any environment for its microbial inhabitants. Due to massive meteoritic exchange between Earth and Mars (as well as other planets), a reasonable case can be made for life on Mars or other planets to be related to life on Earth. In this case, the supremely sensitive technologies used to study life on Earth, including in extreme environments, can be applied to the search for life on other planets. Though the 16S gene has become the standard for life detection on Earth, no genome comparisons have established that the ribosomal genes are, in fact, the most conserved DNA segments across the kingdoms of life. We present here a computational comparison of full genomes from 13 diverse organisms from the Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya to identify genetic sequences conserved across the widest divisions of life. Our results identify the 16S and 23S ribosomal RNA genes as well as other universally conserved nucleotide sequences in genes encoding particular classes of transfer RNAs and within the nucleotide binding domains of ABC transporters as the most conserved DNA sequence segments across phylogeny. This set of sequences defines a core set of DNA regions that have changed the least over billions of years of evolution and provides a means to identify and classify divergent life, including ancestrally related life on other planets.

  8. Limits On Undetected Planets in the Six Transiting Planets Kepler-11 System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack

    2017-01-01

    The Kepler-11 has five inner planets ranging from approx. 2 - 1 times as massive Earth in a tightly-packed configuration, with orbital periods between 10 and 47 days. A sixth planet, Kepler-11 g, with a period of118 days, is also observed. The spacing between planets Kepler-11 f and Kepler-11 g is wide enough to allow room for a planet to orbit stably between them. We compare six and seven planet fits to measured transit timing variations (TTVs) of the six known planets. We find that in most cases an additional planet between Kepler-11 f and Kepler-11 g degrades rather than enhances the fit to the TTV data, and where the fit is improved, the improvement provides no significant evidence of a planet between Kepler-11 f and Kepler-11 g. This implies that any planet in this region must be low in mass. We also provide constraints on undiscovered planets orbiting exterior to Kepler-11 g. representations will be described.

  9. Space Weathering of Super-Earths: Model Simulations of Exospheric Sodium Escape from 61 Virgo b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoneda, M.; Berdyugina, S.; Kuhn, J. [Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics, Schöneckstraße 6, 79104 Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany)

    2017-10-01

    Rocky exoplanets are expected to be eroded by space weather in a similar way as in the solar system. In particular, Mercury is one of the dramatically eroded planets whose material continuously escapes into its exosphere and further into space. This escape is well traced by sodium atoms scattering sunlight. Due to solar wind impact, micrometeorite impacts, photo-stimulated desorption and thermal desorption, sodium atoms are released from surface regolith. Some of these released sodium atoms are escaping from Mercury’s gravitational-sphere. They are dragged anti-Sun-ward and form a tail structure. We expect similar phenomena on exoplanets. The hot super-Earth 61 Vir b orbiting a G3V star at only 0.05 au may show a similar structure. Because of its small separation from the star, the sodium release mechanisms may be working more efficiently on hot super-Earths than on Mercury, although the strong gravitational force of Earth-sized or even more massive planets may be keeping sodium atoms from escaping from the planet. Here, we performed model simulations for Mercury (to verify our model) and 61 Vir b as a representative super-Earth. We have found that sodium atoms can escape from this exoplanet due to stellar wind sputtering and micrometeorite impacts, to form a sodium tail. However, in contrast to Mercury, the tail on this hot super-Earth is strongly aligned with the anti-starward direction because of higher light pressure. Our model suggests that 61 Vir b seems to have an exo-base atmosphere like that of Mercury.

  10. Space Weathering of Super-Earths: Model Simulations of Exospheric Sodium Escape from 61 Virgo b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoneda, M.; Berdyugina, S.; Kuhn, J.

    2017-01-01

    Rocky exoplanets are expected to be eroded by space weather in a similar way as in the solar system. In particular, Mercury is one of the dramatically eroded planets whose material continuously escapes into its exosphere and further into space. This escape is well traced by sodium atoms scattering sunlight. Due to solar wind impact, micrometeorite impacts, photo-stimulated desorption and thermal desorption, sodium atoms are released from surface regolith. Some of these released sodium atoms are escaping from Mercury’s gravitational-sphere. They are dragged anti-Sun-ward and form a tail structure. We expect similar phenomena on exoplanets. The hot super-Earth 61 Vir b orbiting a G3V star at only 0.05 au may show a similar structure. Because of its small separation from the star, the sodium release mechanisms may be working more efficiently on hot super-Earths than on Mercury, although the strong gravitational force of Earth-sized or even more massive planets may be keeping sodium atoms from escaping from the planet. Here, we performed model simulations for Mercury (to verify our model) and 61 Vir b as a representative super-Earth. We have found that sodium atoms can escape from this exoplanet due to stellar wind sputtering and micrometeorite impacts, to form a sodium tail. However, in contrast to Mercury, the tail on this hot super-Earth is strongly aligned with the anti-starward direction because of higher light pressure. Our model suggests that 61 Vir b seems to have an exo-base atmosphere like that of Mercury.

  11. THE NASA-UC ETA-EARTH PROGRAM. II. A PLANET ORBITING HD 156668 WITH A MINIMUM MASS OF FOUR EARTH MASSES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Johnson, John Asher; Fischer, Debra A.; Wright, Jason T.; Henry, Gregory W.; Valenti, Jeff A.; Anderson, Jay; Piskunov, Nikolai E.

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of HD 156668 b, an extrasolar planet with a minimum mass of M P sin i = 4.15 M + . This planet was discovered through Keplerian modeling of precise radial velocities from Keck-HIRES and is the second super-Earth to emerge from the NASA-UC Eta-Earth Survey. The best-fit orbit is consistent with circular and has a period of P = 4.6455 days. The Doppler semi-amplitude of this planet, K = 1.89 m s -1 , is among the lowest ever detected, on par with the detection of GJ 581 e using HARPS. A longer period (P ∼ 2.3 years), low-amplitude signal of unknown origin was also detected in the radial velocities and was filtered out of the data while fitting the short-period planet. Additional data are required to determine if the long-period signal is due to a second planet, stellar activity, or another source. Photometric observations using the Automated Photometric Telescopes at Fairborn Observatory show that HD 156668 (an old, quiet K3 dwarf) is photometrically constant over the radial velocity period to 0.1 mmag, supporting the existence of the planet. No transits were detected down to a photometric limit of ∼3 mmag, ruling out transiting planets dominated by extremely bloated atmospheres, but not precluding a transiting solid/liquid planet with a modest atmosphere.

  12. Conditions for oceans on Earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zone: importance of volcanic CO2 degassing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kadoya, S.; Tajika, E.

    2014-01-01

    Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) have been considered to have warm climates and liquid water on their surfaces if the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working as on Earth. However, it is known that even the present Earth may be globally ice-covered when the rate of CO 2 degassing via volcanism becomes low. Here we discuss the climates of Earth-like planets in which the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working, with focusing particularly on insolation and the CO 2 degassing rate. The climate of Earth-like planets within the HZ can be classified into three climate modes (hot, warm, and snowball climate modes). We found that the conditions for the existence of liquid water should be largely restricted even when the planet is orbiting within the HZ and the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working. We show that these conditions should depend strongly on the rate of CO 2 degassing via volcanism. It is, therefore, suggested that thermal evolution of the planetary interiors will be a controlling factor for Earth-like planets to have liquid water on their surface.

  13. Spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar planets from ground-, space- and airborne-based observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel

    2010-11-01

    This thesis deals with techniques and results of observations of exoplanets from several platforms. In this work I present and then attempt solutions to particular issues and problems connected to ground- and space-based approaches to spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar planets. Furthermore, I present the future prospects of the airborne observatory, SOFIA, in this field of astronomy. The first part of this thesis covers results of an exploratory study to use near-infrared integral-field-spectroscopy to observe transiting extrasolar planets. I demonstrate how adaptive-optics assisted integral field spectroscopy compares with other spectroscopic techniques currently applied, foremost being slit spectroscopy. An advanced reduction method using elements of a spectral-differential decorrelation and optimized observation strategies is discussed. This concept was tested with K-Band time series observations of secondary eclipses of HD 209458b and HD 189733b obtained with the SINFONI at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), at spectral resolution of R~3000. In ground-based near infrared (NIR) observations, there is considerable likelihood of confusion between telluric absorption features and spectral features in the targeted object. I describe a detailed method that can cope with such confusion by a forward modelling approach employing Earth transmission models. In space-based transit spectroscopy with Hubble's NICMOS instrument, the main source of systematic noise is the perturbation in the instrument's configuration due to the near Earth orbital motion of the spacecraft. I present an extension to a pre-existing data analysis sequence that has allowed me to extract a NIR transmission spectrum of the hot-Neptune class planet GJ 436b from a data set that was highly corrupted by the above mentioned effects. Satisfyingly, I was able to obtain statistical consistency in spectra (acquired over a broad wavelength grid) over two distinct observing visits by HST. Earlier

  14. Kepler: NASA's First Mission Capable of Finding Earth-Size Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William J.

    2009-01-01

    Kepler, a NASA Discovery mission, is a spaceborne telescope designed to search a nearby region of our galaxy for Earth-size planets orbiting in the habitable zone of stars like our sun. The habitable zone is that region around a start where the temperature permits water to be liquid on the surface of a planet. Liquid water is considered essential forth existence of life. Mission Phases: Six mission phases have been defined to describe the different periods of activity during Kepler's mission. These are: launch; commissioning; early science operations, science operations: and decommissioning

  15. Previously hidden low-energy ions: a better map of near-Earth space and the terrestrial mass balance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    André, Mats

    2015-01-01

    This is a review of the mass balance of planet Earth, intended also for scientists not usually working with space physics or geophysics. The discussion includes both outflow of ions and neutrals from the ionosphere and upper atmosphere, and the inflow of meteoroids and larger objects. The focus is on ions with energies less than tens of eV originating from the ionosphere. Positive low-energy ions are complicated to detect onboard sunlit spacecraft at higher altitudes, which often become positively charged to several tens of volts. We have invented a technique to observe low-energy ions based on the detection of the wake behind a charged spacecraft in a supersonic ion flow. We find that low-energy ions usually dominate the ion density and the outward flux in large volumes in the magnetosphere. The global outflow is of the order of 10 26 ions s –1 . This is a significant fraction of the total number outflow of particles from Earth, and changes plasma processes in near-Earth space. We compare order of magnitude estimates of the mass outflow and inflow for planet Earth and find that they are similar, at around 1 kg s −1 (30 000 ton yr −1 ). We briefly discuss atmospheric and ionospheric outflow from other planets and the connection to evolution of extraterrestrial life. (invited comment)

  16. Searching for New Earths: Teaching Children How We Seek Distant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulliam, C.

    2008-06-01

    Teaching science to children ages 8-13 can be a great challenge, especially if you lack the resources for a full-blown audio/visual presentation. How do you hold their attention and get them involved? One method is to teach a topic no one else covers at this educational level: something exciting and up-to-the-minute, at the cutting edge of science. We developed an interactive 45-minute presentation to convey the two basic techniques used to locate planets orbiting other stars. Activities allowed children to hunt for their own planets in simulated data sets. We also stimulated their imagination by giving each child a take-home, multicolored marble ``planet'' and asking them to discuss their planet's characteristics. The resulting presentation ``Searching for New Earths'' could be adapted to a variety of educational settings.

  17. Hydrodynamics of embedded planets' first atmospheres - III. The role of radiation transport for super-Earth planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cimerman, N.P.; Kuiper, R.; Ormel, Chris W.

    2017-01-01

    The population of close-in super-Earths, with gas mass fractions of up to 10 per cent represents a challenge for planet formation theory: how did they avoid runaway gas accretion and collapsing to hot Jupiters despite their core masses being in the critical range of Mc ≃ 10 M⊕? Previous

  18. A POPULATION OF VERY HOT SUPER-EARTHS IN MULTIPLE-PLANET SYSTEMS SHOULD BE UNCOVERED BY KEPLER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schlaufman, Kevin C.; Lin, D. N. C.; Ida, S.

    2010-01-01

    We simulate a Kepler-like observation of a theoretical exoplanet population and show that the observed orbital period distribution of the Kepler giant planet candidates is best matched by an average stellar specific dissipation function Q' * in the interval 10 6 ∼ * ∼ 7 . In that situation, the few super-Earths that are driven to orbital periods of P < 1 day by dynamical interactions in multiple-planet systems will survive tidal disruption for a significant fraction of the main-sequence lifetimes of their stellar hosts. Consequently, though these very hot super-Earths are not characteristic of the overall super-Earth population, their substantial transit probability implies that they should be significant contributors to the full super-Earth population uncovered by Kepler. As a result, the CoRoT-7 system may be the first representative of a population of very hot super-Earths that we suggest should be found in multiple-planet systems preferentially orbiting the least-dissipative stellar hosts in the Kepler sample.

  19. DETECTABILITY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS IN CIRCUMSTELLAR HABITABLE ZONES OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS WITH SUN-LIKE COMPONENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Haghighipour, Nader

    2013-01-01

    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the α Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery of α Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the α Centauri system.

  20. DETECTABILITY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS IN CIRCUMSTELLAR HABITABLE ZONES OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS WITH SUN-LIKE COMPONENTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke [University of Vienna, Institute for Astrophysics, Tuerkenschanzstr. 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Haghighipour, Nader, E-mail: siegfried.eggl@univie.ac.at [Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2013-02-20

    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the {alpha} Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery of {alpha} Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the {alpha} Centauri system.

  1. Extending Whole-earth Tectonics To The Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, V. R.; Maruyama, S.; Dohm, J. M.

    Based on the need to explain a great many geological and geophysical anomalies on Mars, and stimulated by the new results from the Mars Global Surveyor Mission, we propose a conceptual model of whole-EARTH (Episodic Annular Revolving Thermal Hydrologic) tectonics for the long-term evolution of terrestrial planets. The theory emphasizes (1) the importance of water in planetary evolution, and (2) the physi- cal transitions in modes of mantle convection in relation to planetary heat produc- tion. Depending on their first-order geophysical parameters and following accretion and differentiation from volatile-rich planetessimals, terrestrial planets should evolve through various stages of mantle convection, including magma ocean, plate tectonic, and stagnant lid processes. If a water ocean is able to condense from the planet's early steam atmosphere, an early regime of plate tectonics will follow the initial magma ocean. This definitely happened on earth, probably on Mars, and possibly on Venus. The Mars history led to transfer of large amounts of water to the mantle during the pe- riod of heavy bombardment. Termination of plate tectonics on Mars during the heavy bombardment period led to initiation of superplumes at Tharsis and Elysium, where long-persistent volcanism and water outbursts dominated much of later Martian his- tory. For Venus, warming of the early sun made the surface ocean unstable, eliminating its early plate-tectonic regime. Although Venus now experiences stagnant-lid convec- tion with episodic mantle overturns, the water subducted to its lower mantle during the ancient plate-tectonic regime manifests itself in the initation of volatile-rich plumes that dominate its current tectonic regime.

  2. Conditions for oceans on Earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zone: importance of volcanic CO{sub 2} degassing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadoya, S. [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Kiban Bldg. 408, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Tajika, E., E-mail: kadoya@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp, E-mail: tajika@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Kiban Bldg. 409, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan)

    2014-08-01

    Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) have been considered to have warm climates and liquid water on their surfaces if the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working as on Earth. However, it is known that even the present Earth may be globally ice-covered when the rate of CO{sub 2} degassing via volcanism becomes low. Here we discuss the climates of Earth-like planets in which the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working, with focusing particularly on insolation and the CO{sub 2} degassing rate. The climate of Earth-like planets within the HZ can be classified into three climate modes (hot, warm, and snowball climate modes). We found that the conditions for the existence of liquid water should be largely restricted even when the planet is orbiting within the HZ and the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working. We show that these conditions should depend strongly on the rate of CO{sub 2} degassing via volcanism. It is, therefore, suggested that thermal evolution of the planetary interiors will be a controlling factor for Earth-like planets to have liquid water on their surface.

  3. THE NASA-UC ETA-EARTH PROGRAM. III. A SUPER-EARTH ORBITING HD 97658 AND A NEPTUNE-MASS PLANET ORBITING Gl 785

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Johnson, John Asher; Fischer, Debra A.; Wright, Jason T.; Henry, Gregory W.; Valenti, Jeff A.; Anderson, Jay; Piskunov, Nikolai E.

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of planets orbiting two bright, nearby early K dwarf stars, HD 97658 and Gl 785. These planets were detected by Keplerian modeling of radial velocities measured with Keck-HIRES for the NASA-UC Eta-Earth Survey. HD 97658 b is a close-in super-Earth with minimum mass Msin i = 8.2 ± 1.2 M + , orbital period P = 9.494 ± 0.005 days, and an orbit that is consistent with circular. Gl 785 b is a Neptune-mass planet with Msin i = 21.6 ± 2.0 M + , P = 74.39 ± 0.12 days, and orbital eccentricity e = 0.30 ± 0.09. Photometric observations with the T12 0.8 m automatic photometric telescope at Fairborn Observatory show that HD 97658 is photometrically constant at the radial velocity period to 0.09 mmag, supporting the existence of the planet.

  4. A probabilistic approach towards understanding how planet composition affects plate tectonics - through time and space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenkovic, V.

    2017-12-01

    We focus on the connections between plate tectonics and planet composition — by studying how plate yielding is affected by surface and mantle water, and by variable amounts of Fe, SiC, or radiogenic heat sources within the planet interior. We especially explore whether we can make any robust conclusions if we account for variable initial conditions, current uncertainties in model parameters and the pressure dependence of the viscosity, as well as uncertainties on how a variable composition affects mantle rheology, melting temperatures, and thermal conductivities. We use a 1D thermal evolution model to explore with more than 200,000 simulations the robustness of our results and use our previous results from 3D calculations to help determine the most likely scenario within the uncertainties we still face today. The results that are robust in spite of all uncertainties are that iron-rich mantle rock seems to reduce the efficiency of plate yielding occurring on silicate planets like the Earth if those planets formed along or above mantle solidus and that carbon planets do not seem to be ideal candidates for plate tectonics because of slower creep rates and generally higher thermal conductivities for SiC. All other conclusions depend on not yet sufficiently constrained parameters. For the most likely case based on our current understanding, we find that, within our range of varied planet conditions (1-10 Earth masses), planets with the greatest efficiency of plate yielding are silicate rocky planets of 1 Earth mass with large metallic cores (average density 5500-7000 kg m-3) with minimal mantle concentrations of iron (as little as 0% is preferred) and radiogenic isotopes at formation (up to 10 times less than Earth's initial abundance; less heat sources do not mean no heat sources). Based on current planet formation scenarios and observations of stellar abundances across the Galaxy as well as models of the evolution of the interstellar medium, such planets are

  5. The naked planet Earth: Most essential pre-requisite for the origin and evolution of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Maruyama

    2013-03-01

    To satisfy the tight conditions to make the Earth habitable, the formation mechanism of primordial Earth is an important factor. At first, a ‘dry Earth’ must be made through giant impact, followed by magma ocean to float nutrient-enriched primordial continents (anorthosite + KREEP. Late bombardment from asteroid belt supplied water to make 3–5 km thick ocean, and not from icy meteorites from Kuiper belt beyond cool Jupiter. It was essential to meet the above conditions that enabled the Earth as a habitable planet with evolved life forms. The tight constraints that we evaluate for birth and evolution of life on Earth would provide important guidelines for planetary scientists hunting for life in the exo-solar planets.

  6. Check-Up of Planet Earth at the Turn of the Millennium: Contribution of EOS-Terra to a New Phase in Earth Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Yoram

    1999-01-01

    Langley's remarkable solar and lunar spectra collected from Mt. Whitney inspired Arrhenius to develop the first quantitative climate model in 1896. In 1999, NASA's Earth Observing AM Satellite (EOS-Terra) will repeat Langley's experiment, but for the entire planet, thus pioneering a wide array of calibrated spectral observations from space of the Earth System. Conceived in response to real environmental problems, EOS-Terra, in conjunction with other international satellite efforts, will fill a major gap in current efforts by providing quantitative global data sets with a resolution of few kilometers on the physical, chemical and biological elements of the earth system. Thus, like Langley's data, EOS-Terra can revolutionize climate research by inspiring a new generation of climate system models and enable us to assess the human impact on the environment. In the talk I shall review the historical developments that brought to the Terra mission, its objectives and example of application to biomass burning.

  7. Venus: The Atmosphere, Climate, Surface, Interior and Near-Space Environment of an Earth-Like Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Fredric W.; Svedhem, Håkan; Head, James W.

    2018-02-01

    This is a review of current knowledge about Earth's nearest planetary neighbour and near twin, Venus. Such knowledge has recently been extended by the European Venus Express and the Japanese Akatsuki spacecraft in orbit around the planet; these missions and their achievements are concisely described in the first part of the review, along with a summary of previous Venus observations. The scientific discussions which follow are divided into three main sections: on the surface and interior; the atmosphere and climate; and the thermosphere, exosphere and magnetosphere. These reports are intended to provide an overview for the general reader, and also an introduction to the more detailed topical surveys in the following articles in this issue, where full references to original material may be found.

  8. ROTATIONAL VARIABILITY OF EARTH'S POLAR REGIONS: IMPLICATIONS FOR DETECTING SNOWBALL PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowan, Nicolas B.; Robinson, Tyler; Agol, Eric; Meadows, Victoria S.; Shields, Aomawa L.; Livengood, Timothy A.; Deming, Drake; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Charbonneau, David; Lisse, Carey M.; Seager, Sara

    2011-01-01

    We have obtained the first time-resolved, disk-integrated observations of Earth's poles with the Deep Impact spacecraft as part of the EPOXI mission of opportunity. These data mimic what we will see when we point next-generation space telescopes at nearby exoplanets. We use principal component analysis (PCA) and rotational light curve inversion to characterize color inhomogeneities and map their spatial distribution from these unusual vantage points, as a complement to the equatorial views presented by Cowan et al. in 2009. We also perform the same PCA on a suite of simulated rotational multi-band light curves from NASA's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional spectral Earth model. This numerical experiment allows us to understand what sorts of surface features PCA can robustly identify. We find that the EPOXI polar observations have similar broadband colors as the equatorial Earth, but with 20%-30% greater apparent albedo. This is because the polar observations are most sensitive to mid-latitudes, which tend to be more cloudy than the equatorial latitudes emphasized by the original EPOXI Earth observations. The cloudiness of the mid-latitudes also manifests itself in the form of increased variability at short wavelengths in the polar observations and as a dominant gray eigencolor in the south polar observation. We construct a simple reflectance model for a snowball Earth. By construction, our model has a higher Bond albedo than the modern Earth; its surface albedo is so high that Rayleigh scattering does not noticeably affect its spectrum. The rotational color variations occur at short wavelengths due to the large contrast between glacier ice and bare land in those wavebands. Thus, we find that both the broadband colors and diurnal color variations of such a planet would be easily distinguishable from the modern-day Earth, regardless of viewing angle.

  9. A Population of planetary systems characterized by short-period, Earth-sized planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, Jason H.; Coughlin, Jeffrey L.

    2016-01-01

    We analyze data from the Quarter 1–17 Data Release 24 (Q1–Q17 DR24) planet candidate catalog from NASA’s Kepler mission, specifically comparing systems with single transiting planets to systems with multiple transiting planets, and identify a population of exoplanets with a necessarily distinct system architecture. Such an architecture likely indicates a different branch in their evolutionary past relative to the typical Kepler system. The key feature of these planetary systems is an isolated, Earth-sized planet with a roughly 1-d orbital period. We estimate that at least 24 of the 144 systems we examined (≳17%) are members of this population. Accounting for detection efficiency, such planetary systems occur with a frequency similar to the hot Jupiters. PMID:27790984

  10. A Population of planetary systems characterized by short-period, Earth-sized planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, Jason H; Coughlin, Jeffrey L

    2016-10-25

    We analyze data from the Quarter 1-17 Data Release 24 (Q1-Q17 DR24) planet candidate catalog from NASA's Kepler mission, specifically comparing systems with single transiting planets to systems with multiple transiting planets, and identify a population of exoplanets with a necessarily distinct system architecture. Such an architecture likely indicates a different branch in their evolutionary past relative to the typical Kepler system. The key feature of these planetary systems is an isolated, Earth-sized planet with a roughly 1-d orbital period. We estimate that at least 24 of the 144 systems we examined ([Formula: see text]17%) are members of this population. Accounting for detection efficiency, such planetary systems occur with a frequency similar to the hot Jupiters.

  11. Wandering stars about planets and exo-planets : an introductory notebook

    CERN Document Server

    Cole, George H A

    2006-01-01

    The space vehicle spectaculars of recent years have been revealing the full scope and beauty of our own solar system but have also shown that a growing number of other stars too have planetary bodies orbiting around them. The study of these systems is just beginning. It seems that our galaxy contains untold numbers of planets, and presumably other galaxies will be similar to our own. Our solar system contains life, on Earth: do others as well? Such questions excite modern planetary scientists and astro-biologists. This situation is a far cry from ancient times when the five planets that can be

  12. CoRoT’s first seven planets: An overview*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barge P.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The up to 150 day uninterrupted high-precision photometry of about 100000 stars – provided so far by the exoplanet channel of the CoRoT space telescope – gave a new perspective on the planet population of our galactic neighbourhood. The seven planets with very accurate parameters widen the range of known planet properties in almost any respect. Giant planets have been detected at low metallicity, rapidly rotating and active, spotted stars. CoRoT-3 populated the brown dwarf desert and closed the gap of measured physical properties between standard giant planets and very low mass stars. CoRoT extended the known range of planet masses down-to 5 Earth masses and up to 21 Jupiter masses, the radii to less than 2 Earth radii and up to the most inflated hot Jupiter found so far, and the periods of planets discovered by transits to 9 days. Two CoRoT planets have host stars with the lowest content of heavy elements known to show a transit hinting towards a different planet-host-star-metallicity relation then the one found by radial-velocity search programs. Finally the properties of the CoRoT-7b prove that terrestrial planets with a density close to Earth exist outside the Solar System. The detection of the secondary transit of CoRoT-1 at the 10−5-level and the very clear detection of the 1.7 Earth radii of CoRoT-7b at 3.5 10−4 relative flux are promising evidence of CoRoT being able to detect even smaller, Earth sized planets.

  13. RECONSTRUCTING THE PHOTOMETRIC LIGHT CURVES OF EARTH AS A PLANET ALONG ITS HISTORY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.

    2012-01-01

    By utilizing satellite-based estimations of the distribution of clouds, we have studied Earth's large-scale cloudiness behavior according to latitude and surface types (ice, water, vegetation, and desert). These empirical relationships are used here to reconstruct the possible cloud distribution of historical epochs of Earth's history such as the Late Cretaceous (90 Ma ago), the Late Triassic (230 Ma ago), the Mississippian (340 Ma ago), and the Late Cambrian (500 Ma ago), when the landmass distributions were different from today's. With this information, we have been able to simulate the globally integrated photometric variability of the planet at these epochs. We find that our simple model reproduces well the observed cloud distribution and albedo variability of the modern Earth. Moreover, the model suggests that the photometric variability of the Earth was probably much larger in past epochs. This enhanced photometric variability could improve the chances for the difficult determination of the rotational period and the identification of continental landmasses for a distant planets.

  14. Hydrodynamics of embedded planets' first atmospheres - III. The role of radiation transport for super-Earth planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimerman, Nicolas P.; Kuiper, Rolf; Ormel, Chris W.

    2017-11-01

    The population of close-in super-Earths, with gas mass fractions of up to 10 per cent represents a challenge for planet formation theory: how did they avoid runaway gas accretion and collapsing to hot Jupiters despite their core masses being in the critical range of Mc ≃ 10 M⊕? Previous three-dimensional (3D) hydrodynamical simulations indicate that atmospheres of low-mass planets cannot be considered isolated from the protoplanetary disc, contrary to what is assumed in 1D-evolutionary calculations. This finding is referred to as the recycling hypothesis. In this paper, we investigate the recycling hypothesis for super-Earth planets, accounting for realistic 3D radiation hydrodynamics. Also, we conduct a direct comparison in terms of the evolution of the entropy between 1D and 3D geometries. We clearly see that 3D atmospheres maintain higher entropy: although gas in the atmosphere loses entropy through radiative cooling, the advection of high-entropy gas from the disc into the Bondi/Hill sphere slows down Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction, potentially arresting envelope growth at a sub-critical gas mass fraction. Recycling, therefore, operates vigorously, in line with results by previous studies. However, we also identify an `inner core' - in size ≈25 per cent of the Bondi radius - where streamlines are more circular and entropies are much lower than in the outer atmosphere. Future studies at higher resolutions are needed to assess whether this region can become hydrodynamically isolated on long time-scales.

  15. A SUPER-EARTH-SIZED PLANET ORBITING IN OR NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE AROUND A SUN-LIKE STAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barclay, Thomas; Burke, Christopher J.; Howell, Steve B.; Rowe, Jason F.; Huber, Daniel; Jenkins, Jon M.; Quintana, Elisa V.; Still, Martin; Twicken, Joseph D.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Borucki, William J.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Christiansen, Jessie L; Coughlin, Jeffrey L. [NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Isaacson, Howard; Kolbl, Rea; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Ciardi, David [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Fischer, Debra A. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); and others

    2013-05-10

    We present the discovery of a super-Earth-sized planet in or near the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. The host is Kepler-69, a 13.7 mag G4V-type star. We detect two periodic sets of transit signals in the 3-year flux time series of Kepler-69, obtained with the Kepler spacecraft. Using the very high precision Kepler photometry, and follow-up observations, our confidence that these signals represent planetary transits is >99.3%. The inner planet, Kepler-69b, has a radius of 2.24{sup +0.44}{sub -0.29} R{sub Circled-Plus} and orbits the host star every 13.7 days. The outer planet, Kepler-69c, is a super-Earth-sized object with a radius of 1.7{sup +0.34}{sub -0.23} R{sub Circled-Plus} and an orbital period of 242.5 days. Assuming an Earth-like Bond albedo, Kepler-69c has an equilibrium temperature of 299 {+-} 19 K, which places the planet close to the habitable zone around the host star. This is the smallest planet found by Kepler to be orbiting in or near the habitable zone of a Sun-like star and represents an important step on the path to finding the first true Earth analog.

  16. Lunar Science from and for Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieters, M. C.; Hiesinger, H.; Head, J. W., III

    2008-09-01

    Our Moon Every person on Earth is familiar with the Moon. Every resident with nominal eyesight on each continent has seen this near-by planetary body with their own eyes countless times. Those fortunate enough to have binoculars or access to a telescope have explored the craters, valleys, domes, and plains across the lunar surface as changing lighting conditions highlight the mysteries of this marvellously foreign landscape. Schoolchildren learn that the daily rhythm and flow of tides along the coastlines of our oceans are due to the interaction of the Earth and the Moon. This continuous direct and personal link is but one of the many reasons lunar science is fundamental to humanity. The Earth-Moon System In the context of space exploration, our understanding of the Earth-Moon system has grown enormously. The Moon has become the cornerstone for most aspects of planetary science that relate to the terrestrial (rocky) planets. The scientific context for exploration of the Moon is presented in a recent report by a subcommittee of the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council [free from the website: http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11954]. Figure 1 captures the interwoven themes surrounding lunar science recognized and discussed in that report. In particular, it is now recognized that the Earth and the Moon have been intimately linked in their early history. Although they subsequently took very different evolutionary paths, the Moon provides a unique and valuable window both into processes that occurred during the first 600 Million years of solar system evolution (planetary differentiation and the heavy bombardment record) as well as the (ultimately dangerous) impact record of more recent times. This additional role of the Moon as keystone is because the Earth and the Moon share the same environment at 1 AU, but only the Moon retains a continuous record of cosmic events. An Initial Bloom of Exploration and Drought The space age celebrated its 50th

  17. Occurrence and core-envelope structure of 1–4× Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Weiss, Lauren M.; Petigura, Erik A.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Buchhave, Lars A.

    2014-01-01

    Small planets, 1–4× the size of Earth, are extremely common around Sun-like stars, and surprisingly so, as they are missing in our solar system. Recent detections have yielded enough information about this class of exoplanets to begin characterizing their occurrence rates, orbits, masses, densities, and internal structures. The Kepler mission finds the smallest planets to be most common, as 26% of Sun-like stars have small, 1–2 R⊕ planets with orbital periods under 100 d, and 11% have 1–2 R⊕ planets that receive 1–4× the incident stellar flux that warms our Earth. These Earth-size planets are sprinkled uniformly with orbital distance (logarithmically) out to 0.4 the Earth–Sun distance, and probably beyond. Mass measurements for 33 transiting planets of 1–4 R⊕ show that the smallest of them, R planets. Their densities increase with increasing radius, likely caused by gravitational compression. Including solar system planets yields a relation: ρ=2.32+3.19R/R⊕ [g cm−3]. Larger planets, in the radius range 1.5–4.0 R⊕, have densities that decline with increasing radius, revealing increasing amounts of low-density material (H and He or ices) in an envelope surrounding a rocky core, befitting the appellation ‘‘mini-Neptunes.’’ The gas giant planets occur preferentially around stars that are rich in heavy elements, while rocky planets occur around stars having a range of heavy element abundances. Defining habitable zones remains difficult, without benefit of either detections of life elsewhere or an understanding of life’s biochemical origins. PMID:24912169

  18. Feasibility of infrared Earth tracking for deep-space optical communications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yijiang; Hemmati, Hamid; Ortiz, Gerry G

    2012-01-01

    Infrared (IR) Earth thermal tracking is a viable option for optical communications to distant planet and outer-planetary missions. However, blurring due to finite receiver aperture size distorts IR Earth images in the presence of Earth's nonuniform thermal emission and limits its applicability. We demonstrate a deconvolution algorithm that can overcome this limitation and reduce the error from blurring to a negligible level. The algorithm is applied successfully to Earth thermal images taken by the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. With the solution to this critical issue, IR Earth tracking is established as a viable means for distant planet and outer-planetary optical communications. © 2012 Optical Society of America

  19. Cosmic Rays in Magnetospheres of the Earth and other Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Dorman, Lev

    2009-01-01

    This monograph describes the behaviour of cosmic rays in the magnetosphere of the Earth and of some other planets. Recently this has become an important topic both theoretically, because it is closely connected with the physics of the Earth’s magnetosphere, and practically, since cosmic rays determine a significant part of space weather effects on satellites and aircraft. The book contains eight chapters, dealing with – The history of the discovery of geomagnetic effects caused by cosmic rays and their importance for the determination of the nature of cosmic rays or gamma rays – The first explanations of geomagnetic effects within the framework of the dipole approximation of the Earth’s magnetic field – Trajectory computations of cutoff rigidities, transmittance functions, asymptotic directions, and acceptance cones in the real geomagnetic field taking into account higher harmonics – Cosmic ray latitude-longitude surveys on ships, trains, tracks, planes, balloons and satellites for determining the...

  20. How to save the earth planet. Ecology and human spirit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al Gore.

    1993-01-01

    The author has undertaken for 25 years in all the struggles for the environment protection. His ecology competences are worldwide recognized. With ''HOW TO SAVE THE EARTH PLANET'' AL GORE calls for help facing a great importance economic crisis, the consequences of which are dramatic. Beyond the exhaustive report, very well documented on the scientific topics, he proposes a true ecologic ''Marshall PLAN'' at the planet level, and a global reflection followed by precise and concrete measures. In the beginning of the XXIst century the challenge taken up by AL GORE is also a true defence plea for the future. We are all concerned and our children too. 27 refs

  1. Kepler Mission: A Mission to Find Earth-size Planets in the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, W. J.

    2003-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is a Discovery-class mission designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. It is a wide field of view photometer Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs. It has a 0.95 m aperture and 1.4 m primary and is designed to attain a photometric precision of 2 parts in 10(exp 5) for 12th magnitude solar-like stars for a 6 hr transit duration. It will continuously observe 100,000 main-sequence stars from 9th to 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation for a period of four years with a cadence of 4/hour. An additional 250 stars can be monitored at a cadence of l/minute to do astro-seismology of stars brighter than 11.5 mv. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. When combined with ground-based spectrometric observations of these stars, the positions of the planets relative to the habitable zone can be found. The spectra of the stars are also used to determine the relationships between the characteristics of terrestrial planets and the characteristics of the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. Based on the results of the current Doppler-velocity discoveries, over a thousand giant planets will also be found. Information on the albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of Earth-size planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ are very rare and that life might also be quite rare.

  2. Mass, Energy, Space And Time System Theory---MEST A way to help our earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Dayong

    2009-03-01

    There are two danger to our earth. The first, the sun will expand to devour our earth, for example, the ozonosphere of our earth is be broken; The second, the asteroid will impact near our earth. According to MEST, there is a interaction between Black hole (and Dark matter-energy) and Solar system. The orbit of Jupiter is a boundary of the interaction between Black hole (and Dark matter-energy) and Solar system. Because there are four terrestrial planets which is mass-energy center as solar system, and there are four or five Jovian planets which is gas (space-time) center as black hole system. According to MEST, dark matter-energy take the velocity of Jupiter gose up. So there are a lot of asteroids and dark matter-energy near the orbit of Jupiter-the boundary. Dark matter-energy can change the orbit of asteroid, and take it impacted near our earth. Because the Dark matter-energy will pressure the Solar system. It is a inverse process with sun's expandedness. So the ``two danger'' is from a new process of the balance system between Black hole (and Dark matter-energy) and Solar system. According to MEST, We need to find the right point for our earth in the ``new process of the balance system.''

  3. A scientometric prediction of the discovery of the first potentially habitable planet with a mass similar to Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbesman, Samuel; Laughlin, Gregory

    2010-10-04

    The search for a habitable extrasolar planet has long interested scientists, but only recently have the tools become available to search for such planets. In the past decades, the number of known extrasolar planets has ballooned into the hundreds, and with it, the expectation that the discovery of the first Earth-like extrasolar planet is not far off. Here, we develop a novel metric of habitability for discovered planets and use this to arrive at a prediction for when the first habitable planet will be discovered. Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half of 2011, with the likeliest date being early May 2011. Our predictions, using only the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, accord well with external estimates for the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet and highlight the the usefulness of predictive scientometric techniques to understand the pace of scientific discovery in many fields.

  4. Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with Earth's Smallest Settlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cwikla, Julie; Milroy, Scott; Reider, David; Skelton, Tara

    2014-01-01

    Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with the Earth's Smallest Settlers (http://pioneeringmars.org) provides a partnership model for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning that brings university scientists together with high school students to investigate whether cyanobacteria from Antarctica could survive on…

  5. Coagulation calculations of icy planet formation around 0.1-0.5 M {sub ☉} stars: Super-Earths from large planetesimals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kenyon, Scott J. [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Bromley, Benjamin C., E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu [Department of Physics, University of Utah, 201 JFB, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States)

    2014-01-01

    We investigate formation mechanisms for icy super-Earth-mass planets orbiting at 2-20 AU around 0.1-0.5 M {sub ☉} stars. A large ensemble of coagulation calculations demonstrates a new formation channel: disks composed of large planetesimals with radii of 30-300 km form super-Earths on timescales of ∼1 Gyr. In other gas-poor disks, a collisional cascade grinds planetesimals to dust before the largest planets reach super-Earth masses. Once icy Earth-mass planets form, they migrate through the leftover swarm of planetesimals at rates of 0.01-1 AU Myr{sup –1}. On timescales of 10 Myr to 1 Gyr, many of these planets migrate through the disk of leftover planetesimals from semimajor axes of 5-10 AU to 1-2 AU. A few percent of super-Earths might migrate to semimajor axes of 0.1-0.2 AU. When the disk has an initial mass comparable with the minimum-mass solar nebula, scaled to the mass of the central star, the predicted frequency of super-Earths matches the observed frequency.

  6. International Year of Planet Earth - Accomplishments, Activities, Challenges and Plans in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fucugauchi, J. U.; Perez-Cruz, L. L.; Alaniz-Alvarez, S.

    2009-12-01

    The International Year of Planet Earth started as a joint initiative by UNESCO and IUGS with the participation of several geosciences organizations, and developed into a major international geosciences program for the triennium 2007-2009, with the inclusion and participation of national and regional committees. In this presentation we focus on current activities and plans in our country and the participation in international activities. Mexican community has been part of international programs since the International Geophysical Year, continuing through its participation in other programs, e.g., Upper Mantle, Geodynamics, Lithosphere, IHY, IPY and eGY. IYPE activities have concentrated in publications, OneGeology, radio/TV programs, organization of conferences, meetings and outreach events. A book series on Earth Science Experiments for Children has been edited, with first books published on “Atmospheric Pressure and Free Fall of Objects”, “Light and Colors”, “Standing on Archimedes”, “Foucault and Climate” and “Earth and its Waves “. Books are distributed to schools, with tens of thousand copies distributed nationwide and new editions underway. Other publications include leaflets, books and special El Faro issues (edited by the National University) and articles in other journals. In 2007 the AGU Joint Assembly with international participation from US, Canada, Europe and Latin America was held in Acapulco. Current plans include an electronic open-access journal, additional publications of the Planet Earth series, articles and special issues in journals and magazines, plus events on selected themes from the IYPE science program, particularly on Megacities, Hazards, Resources and Biodiversity. Mexico City metropolitan area, with > 22 million inhabitants presents special challenges, being at high altitude within an active tectonic and volcanic area requiring major efforts in water supply, water control, rains and waste disposal and management

  7. A scientometric prediction of the discovery of the first potentially habitable planet with a mass similar to Earth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Arbesman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The search for a habitable extrasolar planet has long interested scientists, but only recently have the tools become available to search for such planets. In the past decades, the number of known extrasolar planets has ballooned into the hundreds, and with it, the expectation that the discovery of the first Earth-like extrasolar planet is not far off. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we develop a novel metric of habitability for discovered planets and use this to arrive at a prediction for when the first habitable planet will be discovered. Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half of 2011, with the likeliest date being early May 2011. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our predictions, using only the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, accord well with external estimates for the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet and highlight the the usefulness of predictive scientometric techniques to understand the pace of scientific discovery in many fields.

  8. Migration of Trans-Neptunian Objects to a Near-Earth Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipatov, S. I.; Mather, J. C.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Our estimates of the migration of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) to a near-Earth space are based on the results of investigations of orbital evolution of TNOs and Jupiter-crossing objects (JCOs). The orbital evolution of TNOs was considered in many papers. Recently we investigated the evolution for intervals of at least 5-10 Myr of 2500 JCOs under the gravitational influence of all planets, except for Mercury and Pluto (without dissipative factors). In the first series we considered N=2000 orbits near the orbits of 30 real Jupiter-family comets with period P(sub alpha)less than 10 yr, and in the second series we took N=500 orbits close to the orbit of Comet 10P Tempel 2 (alpha=3.1 AU, e=0.53, i=12 deg). We calculated the probabilities of collisions of objects with the terrestrial planets, using orbital elements obtained with a step equal to 500 yr, and then summarized the results for all time intervals and all bodies, obtaining the total probability P(sub sigma) of collisions with a planet and the total time interval T(sub sigma) during which perihelion distance q of bodies was less than a semimajor axis of the planet.

  9. News and Views: Keep it down! AU becomes au, and is defined in metres; Kepler survey announces two planets in a binary star system; Is there plate tectonics on Mars? Vaporizing Earth - for research!

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-01

    Division 1 of the IAU recommended that the astronomical unit - originally the length of the semi-major axis of the Earth's orbit - be redefined as a fixed number of kilometres. A team of observers using data from NASA's Kepler space observatory announced at the IAU General Assembly that they had discovered two planets orbiting a pair of binary stars, and that such planets could exist in the habitable zone of their system. The Red Planet has long been considered something of a dead planet as far as tectonic movements of its crust, but careful analysis of thermal and topographic images of the surface suggest the existence of major faults with horizontal slip along the Valles Marineris. The question of what would happen if Earth were to approach the Sun and start vaporizing has been modelled in order to help to model the composition of super-Earths.

  10. Two planetary systems with transiting Earth-size and super-Earth planets orbiting late-type dwarf stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, E. Díez; Hernández, J. I. González; Suárez Gómez, S. L.; Aguado, D. S.; González Gutiérrez, C.; Suárez Mascareño, A.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; González-Nuevo, J.; Toledo-Padrón, B.; Gracia, J.; de Cos Juez, F. J.; Rebolo, R.

    2018-06-01

    We present two new planetary systems found around cool dwarf stars with data from the K2 mission. The first system was found in K2-XX1 (EPIC 248545986), characterized in this work as M3.0V and observed in the 14th campaign of K2. It consists of three Earth-size transiting planets with radii of 1.1, 1.0 and 1.1 R⊕, showing a compact configuration with orbital periods of 5.24, 7.78 and 10.1 days, close to 2:3:4 resonance. The second was found in K2-XX2 (EPIC 249801827), characterized in this work as M0.5V and observed in the 15th campaign. It consists of two transiting super-Earths with radii 2.0 and 1.8 R⊕ and orbital periods of 6.03 and 20.5 days. The equilibrium temperatures of the atmospheres of these planets are estimated to be in the range of 380-600 K and the amplitudes of signals in transmission spectroscopy are estimated at ˜ 10 ppm.

  11. Looking at Earth from space. Glossary of terms

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    This glossary is one of a series of NASA publications designed to familiarize educators with global change issues and Mission to Planet Earth. The series enables teachers to enhance classroom studies with hands-on activities, including satellite images. Concepts and terms related to the global environment and the impact of human activities on the planet are presented.

  12. The Carbonate-Silicate Cycle on Earth-like Planets Near The End Of Their Habitable Lifetimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushby, A. J.; Mills, B.; Johnson, M.; Claire, M.

    2016-12-01

    The terrestrial cycle of silicate weathering and metamorphic outgassing buffers atmospheric CO2 and global climate over geological time on Earth. To first order, the operation of this cycle is assumed to occur on Earth-like planets in the orbit of other main-sequence stars in the galaxy that exhibit similar continent/ocean configurations. This has important implications for studies of planetary habitability, atmospheric and climatic evolution, and our understanding of the potential distribution of life in the Universe. We present results from a simple biogeochemical carbon cycle model developed to investigate the operation of the carbonate-silicate cycle under conditions of differing planet mass and position within the radiative habitable zone. An active carbonate-silicate cycle does extend the length of a planet's habitable period through the regulation of the CO2 greenhouse. However, the breakdown of the negative feedback between temperature, pCO2, and weathering rates towards the end of a planet's habitable lifespan results in a transitory regime of `carbon starvation' that would inhibit the ability of oxygenic photoautotrophs to metabolize, and result in the collapse of any putative biosphere supported by these organisms, suggesting an earlier limit for the initiation of inhabitable conditions than when considering temperature alone. This conclusion stresses the importance of considering the full suite of planetary properties when determining potential habitability. A small sample of exoplanets was tested using this model, and the length of their habitable periods were found to be significantly longer than that of the Earth, primarily as a function of the differential rates of stellar evolution expected from their host stars. Furthermore, we carried out statistical analysis of a series of model input parameters, determining that both the mass of the planet and the sensitivity of seafloor weathering processes to dissolved CO2 exhibit significant controls on the

  13. International Year of Planet Earth Cooperating with Other Years in 2007-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Mulder, E. F.

    2006-05-01

    After its inception in 2001, the International Year of Planet Earth was proclaimed for 2008 by the UN General Assembly in December 2005. The UN Year will be in the core of a triennium, starting in January 2007 and closing by the end of 2009. Through UN proclamation, it has gained the political support by 191 UN nations. The International Year of Planet Earth was initiated by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) finding UNESCO's Earth Sciences Division ready as co-initiator. It enjoys the backing of all relevant IUGS's sister unions in ICSU, including IUGG, IGU, IUSS, ISPRS and INQUA among its 12 Founding Partners and AGI, AAPG and AIPG as major USA based international geoscientific organizations. Moreover, the initiative is supported by 26 more geoscientific and other relevant bodies. The aim of the Year, encapsulated in its subtitle Earth sciences for Society, is to build awareness of the relationship between humankind and Planet Earth, and to demonstrate that geoscientists are key players in creating a balanced, sustainable future for both. In this respect it aims to convince politicians to apply the wealth of geodata and information in day-to-day policy making. The International Year includes a Science and an Outreach Programme, both of equal financial size. The ten Science Themes (Groundwater, Hazards, Health, Climate, Resources, Deep Earth, Ocean, Megacities, Soils, and Life) in the Science Programme were selected for their societal impact, their potential for outreach, as well as their multidisciplinary nature and high scientific potential. Brochures with key questions and invitations for scientists to submit project proposals have been printed for each Theme and can be downloaded from www.yearofplanetearth.org. The same bottom-up mode is applied for the Outreach Programme which will operate as a funding body, receiving bids for financial support - for anything from web-based educational resources to commissioning works of art that will help

  14. Examples of learning activities for Earth and Space Sciences in the new Italian National curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macario, Maddalena

    2016-04-01

    In the last few years, starting from 2010, science curricula were changed dramatically in the secondary Italian school as consequence of a radical law reform. In particular, Earth Science and Astronomy subjects have been shifted from the last to the previous school years; in addition, these subjects have been integrated with other natural sciences learning, such as biology and chemistry. As a consequence, Italian teachers felt forced to totally revise their teaching methods for all of these disciplines. The most demanding need was adapting content to younger learners, as those of the first years are, who usually do have neither pre-knowledge in physics nor high level maths skills. Secondly, content learning was progressively driven toward a greater attention to environmental issues in order to raise more awareness in learners about global changes as examples of fragile equilibrium of our planet. In this work some examples of activities are shown, to introduce students to some astronomical phenomena in a simpler way, which play a key role in influencing other Earth's events, in order to make pupils more conscious about how and to what extent our planet depends on space, at different time scales. The activities range from moon motions affecting tides, to secondary Earth motions, which are responsible for climate changes, to the possibility to find life forms in other parts of the Universe, to the possibility for humans to live in the space for future space missions. Students are involved in hands-on inquiry-based laboratories that scaffold both theoretic knowledge and practical skills for a deeper understanding of cause-effect relationships existing in the Earth.

  15. Habitability of super-Earth planets around other suns: models including Red Giant Branch evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bloh, W; Cuntz, M; Schröder, K-P; Bounama, C; Franck, S

    2009-01-01

    The unexpected diversity of exoplanets includes a growing number of super-Earth planets, i.e., exoplanets with masses of up to several Earth masses and a similar chemical and mineralogical composition as Earth. We present a thermal evolution model for a 10 Earth-mass planet orbiting a star like the Sun. Our model is based on the integrated system approach, which describes the photosynthetic biomass production and takes into account a variety of climatological, biogeochemical, and geodynamical processes. This allows us to identify a so-called photosynthesis-sustaining habitable zone (pHZ), as determined by the limits of biological productivity on the planetary surface. Our model considers solar evolution during the main-sequence stage and along the Red Giant Branch as described by the most recent solar model. We obtain a large set of solutions consistent with the principal possibility of life. The highest likelihood of habitability is found for "water worlds." Only mass-rich water worlds are able to realize pHZ-type habitability beyond the stellar main sequence on the Red Giant Branch.

  16. Atmospheric reconnaissance of the habitable-zone Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, Julien; Wakeford, Hannah R.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Delrez, Laetitia; Gillon, Michaël; Selsis, Frank; Leconte, Jérémy; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Bolmont, Emeline; Bourrier, Vincent; Burgasser, Adam J.; Grimm, Simon; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M.; Owen, James E.; Stamenković, Vlada; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2018-03-01

    Seven temperate Earth-sized exoplanets readily amenable for atmospheric studies transit the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (refs 1,2). Their atmospheric regime is unknown and could range from extended primordial hydrogen-dominated to depleted atmospheres3-6. Hydrogen in particular is a powerful greenhouse gas that may prevent the habitability of inner planets while enabling the habitability of outer ones6-8. An atmosphere largely dominated by hydrogen, if cloud-free, should yield prominent spectroscopic signatures in the near-infrared detectable during transits. Observations of the innermost planets have ruled out such signatures9. However, the outermost planets are more likely to have sustained such a Neptune-like atmosphere10, 11. Here, we report observations for the four planets within or near the system's habitable zone, the circumstellar region where liquid water could exist on a planetary surface12-14. These planets do not exhibit prominent spectroscopic signatures at near-infrared wavelengths either, which rules out cloud-free hydrogen-dominated atmospheres for TRAPPIST-1 d, e and f, with significance of 8σ, 6σ and 4σ, respectively. Such an atmosphere is instead not excluded for planet g. As high-altitude clouds and hazes are not expected in hydrogen-dominated atmospheres around planets with such insolation15, 16, these observations further support their terrestrial and potentially habitable nature.

  17. Theory for the Origin and Evolution of Stars and Planets, Including Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimorelli, S. A.; Samuels, C.

    2001-05-01

    In this paper we present a novel hypothesis for the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars (including black holes (BHs), giant, mid-size, dwarf, dying and dead stars), planets (including earth), and moons. Present day phenomenon will be used to substantiate the validity of this hypothesis. Every `body' is a multiple type of star, generated from pieces called particle proliferators, of a dislodged/expanded BH which explodes due to a collision with another expanded BH. This includes the sun, and the planet earth, which is a type of dead star. Such that, if we remove layers of the earth, starting with the crust, we will find evidence of each preceding star formation, such as a brown star, a red star, a white star, a blue star, and the remains of the particle proliferator as the innermost core is reached. We intend to show that the hypothesis is consistent with both the available astronomical data regarding stellar evolution and planetary formation; as well as the evolution of the earth itself, by considerations of the available geophysical data. Where data is not available, reasonably simple experiments will be suggested to demonstrate further the consistency and viability of the hypothesis. Theories are presented to help define and explain phenomenon such as how two (or more) BHs expand and collide to form a small `big bang' (it is postulated that there was a small big bang to form each galaxy). This in turn afforded the material/matter to form all the galactic bodies, including the dark matter. The start and development of the planet earth, initially as an emergent piece from the colliding BHs, is given special attention to explain the continuing expansion/growth that takes place in all stars and planets. Also, to explain the formation of the land, the growing/expanding earth (proportional to the ocean bed growth), the division of the continents, and the formation of the ocean beds (possibly long before the oceans existed). Attempts will be made to explain the

  18. Dependence of the Onset of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect on the Latitudinal Surface Water Distribution of Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kodama, T.; Nitta, A.; Genda, H.; Takao, Y.; O'ishi, R.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Abe, Y.

    2018-02-01

    Liquid water is one of the most important materials affecting the climate and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Liquid water vaporizes entirely when planets receive insolation above a certain critical value, which is called the runaway greenhouse threshold. This threshold forms the inner most limit of the habitable zone. Here we investigate the effects of the distribution of surface water on the runaway greenhouse threshold for Earth-sized planets using a three-dimensional dynamic atmosphere model. We considered a 1 bar atmosphere whose composition is similar to the current Earth's atmosphere with a zonally uniform distribution of surface water. As previous studies have already showed, we also recognized two climate regimes: the land planet regime, which has dry low-latitude and wet high-latitude regions, and the aqua planet regime, which is globally wet. We showed that each regime is controlled by the width of the Hadley circulation, the amount of surface water, and the planetary topography. We found that the runaway greenhouse threshold varies continuously with the surface water distribution from about 130% (an aqua planet) to 180% (the extreme case of a land planet) of the present insolation at Earth's orbit. Our results indicate that the inner edge of the habitable zone is not a single sharp boundary, but a border whose location varies depending on planetary surface condition, such as the amount of surface water. Since land planets have wider habitable zones and less cloud cover, land planets would be good targets for future observations investigating planetary habitability.

  19. Sacred Space: A Beginning Framework for Off-Planet Church

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, T. K.

    As governments and corporations continue to engage space security, commerce, exploration and colonization, the Christian Church will not be far behind. Historically the Church has always been part of the first waves of explorers and colonizers, with its ideological interests being easily supported by generous resources and strong infrastructures. The exploring Church has not always been a friendly guest, however, and at times has initiated or condoned great harm. This paper offers a beginning framework as one way of insuring an appropriate presence in space for the Church. This framework is built with three common religious planks, namely, theology, ecclesiology and church worker vocation. Each of these is recast in terms of the off-planet scenario. This paper concludes that an appropriate off-planet Church will be founded on an "exomissiological" theology, will embrace an ecclesiology that emphasizes religious health, and will adequately select, train and monitor its off-planet church workers.

  20. Dynamics of the accumulation process of the Earth group of planets: Formation of the reverse rotation of Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koslov, N. N.; Eneyev, T. M.

    1979-01-01

    A numerical simulation of the process of formation of the terrestrial planets is carried within the framework of a new theory for the accumulation of planetary and satellite systems. The numerical simulation permitted determining the parameters of the protoplanetary disk from which Mercury, Venus and the Earth were formed as result of the evolution. The acquisition of a slow retrograde rotation for Venus was discovered during the course of the investigation, whereas Mercury and the Earth acquired direct rotation about their axes. Deviations of the semimajor axes of these three planets as well as the masses of the Earth and Venus from the true values are small as a rule (l 10%). It is shown that during the accumulation of the terrestrial planets, there existed a profound relationship between the process of formation of the orbits and masses of the planet and the process of formation of their rotation about their axes. Estimates are presented for the radii of the initial effective bodies and the time of evolution for the terrestrial accumulation zone.

  1. False Negatives for Remote Life Detection on Ocean-Bearing Planets: Lessons from the Early Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhard, Christopher T; Olson, Stephanie L; Schwieterman, Edward W; Lyons, Timothy W

    2017-04-01

    Ocean-atmosphere chemistry on Earth has undergone dramatic evolutionary changes throughout its long history, with potentially significant ramifications for the emergence and long-term stability of atmospheric biosignatures. Though a great deal of work has centered on refining our understanding of false positives for remote life detection, much less attention has been paid to the possibility of false negatives, that is, cryptic biospheres that are widespread and active on a planet's surface but are ultimately undetectable or difficult to detect in the composition of a planet's atmosphere. Here, we summarize recent developments from geochemical proxy records and Earth system models that provide insight into the long-term evolution of the most readily detectable potential biosignature gases on Earth-oxygen (O 2 ), ozone (O 3 ), and methane (CH 4 ). We suggest that the canonical O 2 -CH 4 disequilibrium biosignature would perhaps have been challenging to detect remotely during Earth's ∼4.5-billion-year history and that in general atmospheric O 2 /O 3 levels have been a poor proxy for the presence of Earth's biosphere for all but the last ∼500 million years. We further suggest that detecting atmospheric CH 4 would have been problematic for most of the last ∼2.5 billion years of Earth's history. More broadly, we stress that internal oceanic recycling of biosignature gases will often render surface biospheres on ocean-bearing silicate worlds cryptic, with the implication that the planets most conducive to the development and maintenance of a pervasive biosphere will often be challenging to characterize via conventional atmospheric biosignatures. Key Words: Biosignatures-Oxygen-Methane-Ozone-Exoplanets-Planetary habitability. Astrobiology 17, 287-297.

  2. An introduction to planets ours and others : from Earth to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-01-01

    What is a planet? The answer seems obvious, but nonetheless the definition of a planet has continuously evolved over the centuries, and their number has changed following successive discoveries. The decision endorsed by the International Astronomical Union to remove Pluto from the list of planets in 2006 well illustrates the difficulty associated with their definition. The recent discovery of hundreds of exoplanets around nearby stars of our Galaxy opens a new and spectacular dimension to astrophysics. We presently know very little about the physical nature of exoplanets. In contrast, our knowledge of Solar System planets has made huge progress over the past decades, thanks, especially, to space planetary exploration. The purpose of this book is first to characterize what planets are, in their global properties and in their diversity. Then, this knowledge is used to try to imagine the physical nature of exoplanets, starting from the few parameters we know about them. Throughout this book, as we explore the su...

  3. International Year of Planet Earth - Activities and Plans in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaniz-Alvarez, S.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.

    2007-12-01

    IYPE started as a joint initiative by UNESCO and IUGS with participation of several geosciences organizations, and has developed into a major program in geosciences with inclusion of national committees. In this presentation we focus on current activities and plans in our country, and in the international activities. IYPE activities have concentrated in publications and organization of conferences and meetings. A book series on Earth Science Experiments for Children has been defined, with the first books published on "Atmospheric Pressure and Free Fall of Objects" and "Light and Colors". Following books are on "Standing on Archimedes" and "Foucault and the Climate". Books are distributed free to school children, with more than 10,000 copies given of first volume. Other publications include the special issues of El Faro science magazine edited by the National University, with last issue published and distributed electronically and in hard copies this August. Special events include Conference of IYPE Executive Director presented during the International Day of Science Museums in late May in Science Museum Universum. This was followed by a Planet Earth Week in the University. Current plans include an electronic open-access publication, additional publications of the Planet Earth series, articles and special issues in journals and magazines, and events on selected themes from the IYPE science program, particularly on Megacities, Hazards, Resources and Life. The metropolitan area of Mexico City, with around 20 million inhabitants presents special challenges, being at high altitude within an active tectonic and volcanic area requiring major efforts in water supply, water control, rains and waste disposal and management. Involvement in international activities includes translation into Spanish of IYPE publications and the participation in programs and activities. In addition to activities in the different countries, we consider that IYPE should result in initiatives for

  4. Learning More About Our Earth: An Exploration of NASA's Contributions to Earth Science Through Remote Sensing Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Francis

    2017-01-01

    NASA is commonly known for its pioneering work in space exploration and the technological advancements that made access to space possible. NASA is now increasingly known for the agency's research and technologies that support the Earth sciences. This is a presentation focusing on NASA's Earth science efforts told mostly through the technological innovations NASA uses to achieve a greater understanding of the Earth, making it possible to explore the Earth as a system. Enabling this science is NASA's fleet of over two dozen Earth science spacecraft, supported by aircraft, ships and ground observations. NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) is a coordinated series of polar-orbiting and low inclination satellites for long-term global observations of the land surface, biosphere, solid Earth, atmosphere, and oceans. With the launching of the three flagship satellite missions, Terra, Aqua and Aura, beginning in 1999, NASA's initial Mission to Planet Earth made it possible to measure aspects of the environment that touch the lives of every person around the world. NASA harnessing the unique space-based platform means, fortunately, no planet is better studied than the one we actually live on.

  5. Auroral phenomenology and magnetospheric processes earth and other planets

    CERN Document Server

    Keiling, Andreas; Bagenal, Fran; Karlsson, Tomas

    2013-01-01

    Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Geophysical Monograph Series. Many of the most basic aspects of the aurora remain unexplained. While in the past terrestrial and planetary auroras have been largely treated in separate books, Auroral Phenomenology and Magnetospheric Processes: Earth and Other Planets takes a holistic approach, treating the aurora as a fundamental process and discussing the phenomenology, physics, and relationship with the respective planetary magnetospheres in one volume. While there are some behaviors common in auroras of the diffe

  6. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebauer, S; Grenfell, J L; Stock, J W; Lehmann, R; Godolt, M; von Paris, P; Rauer, H

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O 2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O 2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O 2 , whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O 2 is formed abiotically via CO 2 photolysis. The O 2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. ( 2006 ) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH 4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH 4 with increasing O 2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O 2 is unique. Mixing, CH 4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O 2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O 2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases

  7. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-03

    Observational surveys for extrasolar planets probe the diverse outcomes of planet formation and evolution. These surveys measure the frequency of planets with different masses, sizes, orbital characteristics, and host star properties. Small planets between the sizes of Earth and Neptune substantially outnumber Jupiter-sized planets. The survey measurements support the core accretion model, in which planets form by the accumulation of solids and then gas in protoplanetary disks. The diversity of exoplanetary characteristics demonstrates that most of the gross features of the solar system are one outcome in a continuum of possibilities. The most common class of planetary system detectable today consists of one or more planets approximately one to three times Earth's size orbiting within a fraction of the Earth-Sun distance.

  8. The effect of lunarlike satellites on the orbital infrared light curves of Earth-analog planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskovitz, Nicholas A; Gaidos, Eric; Williams, Darren M

    2009-04-01

    We have investigated the influence of lunarlike satellites on the infrared orbital light curves of Earth-analog extrasolar planets. Such light curves will be obtained by NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and ESA's Darwin missions as a consequence of repeat observations to confirm the companion status of a putative planet and determine its orbit. We used an energy balance model to calculate disk-averaged infrared (bolometric) fluxes from planet-satellite systems over a full orbital period (one year). The satellites are assumed to lack an atmosphere, have a low thermal inertia like that of the Moon, and span a range of plausible radii. The planets are assumed to have thermal and orbital properties that mimic those of Earth, while their obliquities and orbital longitudes of inferior conjunction remain free parameters. Even if the gross thermal properties of the planet can be independently constrained (e.g., via spectroscopy or visible-wavelength detection of specular glint from a surface ocean), only the largest (approximately Mars-sized) lunarlike satellites can be detected by light curve data from a TPF-like instrument (i.e., one that achieves a photometric signal-to-noise ratio of 10 to 20 at infrared wavelengths). Nondetection of a lunarlike satellite can obfuscate the interpretation of a given system's infrared light curve so that it may resemble a single planet with high obliquity, different orbital longitude of vernal equinox relative to inferior conjunction, and in some cases drastically different thermal characteristics. If the thermal properties of the planet are not independently established, then the presence of a lunarlike satellite cannot be inferred from infrared data, which would thus demonstrate that photometric light curves alone can only be used for preliminary study, and the addition of spectroscopic data will be necessary.

  9. How, when and where Life will begin on another planet after Earth by Duky’s Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deol, Satveer; Singh Nafria, Amritpal

    2017-01-01

    Our Sun is a Red Giant Star and in distant future it will engulf Mercury, Venus and probably Earth and Mars. This paper shows that in distant future due to increasing size & luminosity of the Sun life will begin on one of the planet after 1 duky’s Unit. 1 duky's Unit is the time from now to the time when Mercury would get merged in Sun. At that time Venus would be first planet & due to closeness to Sun, its upper atmosphere would get heated up by solar wind. In a continuous process the clouds of sulfuric acid would escape its gravity. Eventually it would get drifted off into space and it become Mercury twin. On Earth after few million years moisture in air would become very good to trap infra red radiation. As it will warms up, oceans would evaporate even more & in few million years it would get covered with blanket of water vapours. Due to increasing temperature & pressure, volcanoes on Earth would become active then volcanic eruption would blast billions of tons of sulfur high into atmosphere there sulfur would mix with water vapors & form conc. Sulfuric acids. In a continuous process of few more million years whole Earth would get covered with sulphuric acids cloud. As Earth’s moon is receding away from Earth, so before 1 DU, Moon will have been gone away from Earth. As a result it would get started slow down one spin about 1 million year. These would lead to massive outpouring of CO2 & other greenhouse gasses. At that Earth would become Venus Twin. Now it's Mars turn, according to scientists after 50 millions years from now phobo will crash onto the surface of Mars. When that would happen, Mars would have one moon like Earth. This collision would be so hard & strong that phobo would get totally immersed in the surface of Mars as a results it's possible that Mars would get tilted at about 23.5 degree. Due to collision molten lava would come out. When temperature & pressure would rise then water ice would become water. When water would get enriched with

  10. Preliminary study on the influence of the tides of planet earth on hydrostatic leveling system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    He Xiaoye; Xu Shaofeng; Wang Peng

    2012-01-01

    Hydrostatic leveling system, used mainly in survey and alignment technology in particle accelerator and monitoring the tides is introduced in this paper. Based on the theory about the ocean tide and earth tide, we analyze effects of the earth tides on a hydrostatic leveling system. From the data obtained from an HLS, and their F are, and finally we verify the influence of the tides of planet earth. (authors)

  11. Remote life-detection criteria, habitable zone boundaries, and the frequency of Earth-like planets around M and late K stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, James F; Kopparapu, Ravikumar; Ramirez, Ramses M; Harman, Chester E

    2014-09-02

    The habitable zone (HZ) around a star is typically defined as the region where a rocky planet can maintain liquid water on its surface. That definition is appropriate, because this allows for the possibility that carbon-based, photosynthetic life exists on the planet in sufficient abundance to modify the planet's atmosphere in a way that might be remotely detected. Exactly what conditions are needed, however, to maintain liquid water remains a topic for debate. In the past, modelers have restricted themselves to water-rich planets with CO2 and H2O as the only important greenhouse gases. More recently, some researchers have suggested broadening the definition to include arid, "Dune" planets on the inner edge and planets with captured H2 atmospheres on the outer edge, thereby greatly increasing the HZ width. Such planets could exist, but we demonstrate that an inner edge limit of 0.59 AU or less is physically unrealistic. We further argue that conservative HZ definitions should be used for designing future space-based telescopes, but that optimistic definitions may be useful in interpreting the data from such missions. In terms of effective solar flux, S(eff), the recently recalculated HZ boundaries are: recent Venus--1.78; runaway greenhouse--1.04; moist greenhouse--1.01; maximum greenhouse--0.35; and early Mars--0.32. Based on a combination of different HZ definitions, the frequency of potentially Earth-like planets around late K and M stars observed by Kepler is in the range of 0.4-0.5.

  12. Survival Function Analysis of Planet Size Distribution

    OpenAIRE

    Zeng, Li; Jacobsen, Stein B.; Sasselov, Dimitar D.; Vanderburg, Andrew

    2018-01-01

    Applying the survival function analysis to the planet radius distribution of the Kepler exoplanet candidates, we have identified two natural divisions of planet radius at 4 Earth radii and 10 Earth radii. These divisions place constraints on planet formation and interior structure model. The division at 4 Earth radii separates small exoplanets from large exoplanets above. When combined with the recently-discovered radius gap at 2 Earth radii, it supports the treatment of planets 2-4 Earth rad...

  13. DETECTING OCEANS ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS USING THE GLINT EFFECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Crisp, David

    2010-01-01

    Glint, the specular reflection of sunlight off Earth's oceans, may reveal the presence of oceans on an extrasolar planet. As an Earth-like planet nears crescent phases, the size of the ocean glint spot increases relative to the fraction of the illuminated disk, while the reflectivity of this spot increases. Both effects change the planet's visible reflectivity as a function of phase. However, strong forward scattering of radiation by clouds can also produce increases in a planet's reflectivity as it approaches crescent phases, and surface glint can be obscured by Rayleigh scattering and atmospheric absorption. Here, we explore the detectability of glint in the presence of an atmosphere and realistic phase-dependent scattering from oceans and clouds. We use the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model to simulate Earth's broadband visible brightness and reflectivity over an orbit. Our validated simulations successfully reproduce phase-dependent Earthshine observations. We find that the glinting Earth can be as much as 100% brighter at crescent phases than simulations that do not include glint, and that the effect is dependent on both orbital inclination and wavelength, where the latter dependence is caused by Rayleigh scattering limiting sensitivity to the surface. We show that this phenomenon may be observable using the James Webb Space Telescope paired with an external occulter.

  14. High-resolution simulations of the final assembly of Earth-like planets. 2. Water delivery and planetary habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Sean N; Quinn, Thomas; Lunine, Jonathan I

    2007-02-01

    The water content and habitability of terrestrial planets are determined during their final assembly, from perhaps 100 1,000-km "planetary embryos " and a swarm of billions of 1-10-km "planetesimals. " During this process, we assume that water-rich material is accreted by terrestrial planets via impacts of water-rich bodies that originate in the outer asteroid region. We present analysis of water delivery and planetary habitability in five high-resolution simulations containing about 10 times more particles than in previous simulations. These simulations formed 15 terrestrial planets from 0.4 to 2.6 Earth masses, including five planets in the habitable zone. Every planet from each simulation accreted at least the Earth's current water budget; most accreted several times that amount (assuming no impact depletion). Each planet accreted at least five water-rich embryos and planetesimals from the past 2.5 astronomical units; most accreted 10-20 water-rich bodies. We present a new model for water delivery to terrestrial planets in dynamically calm systems, with low-eccentricity or low-mass giant planets-such systems may be very common in the Galaxy. We suggest that water is accreted in comparable amounts from a few planetary embryos in a " hit or miss " way and from millions of planetesimals in a statistically robust process. Variations in water content are likely to be caused by fluctuations in the number of water-rich embryos accreted, as well as from systematic effects, such as planetary mass and location, and giant planet properties.

  15. On the Effects of the Evolution of Microbial Mats and Land Plants on the Earth as a Planet. Photometric and Spectroscopic Light Curves of Paleo-Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.; García Munõz, A.

    2013-04-01

    Understanding the spectral and photometric variability of the Earth and the rest of the solar system planets has become of utmost importance for the future characterization of rocky exoplanets. As this is not only interesting at present times but also along the planetary evolution, we studied the effect that the evolution of microbial mats and plants over land has had on the way our planet looks from afar. As life evolved, continental surfaces changed gradually and non-uniformly from deserts through microbial mats to land plants, modifying the reflective properties of the ground and most likely the distribution of moisture and cloudiness. Here, we used a radiative transfer model of the Earth, together with geological paleo-records of the continental distribution and a reconstructed cloud distribution, to simulate the visible and near-IR radiation reflected by our planet as a function of Earth's rotation. We found that the evolution from deserts to microbial mats and to land plants produces detectable changes in the globally averaged Earth's reflectance. The variability of each surface type is located in different bands and can induce reflectance changes of up to 40% in period of hours. We conclude that by using photometric observations of an Earth-like planet at different photometric bands it would be possible to discriminate between different surface types. While recent literature proposes the red-edge feature of vegetation near 0.7 μm as a signature for land plants, observations in near-IR bands can be equally or even better suited for this purpose.

  16. ON THE EFFECTS OF THE EVOLUTION OF MICROBIAL MATS AND LAND PLANTS ON THE EARTH AS A PLANET. PHOTOMETRIC AND SPECTROSCOPIC LIGHT CURVES OF PALEO-EARTHS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.; García Munõz, A.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the spectral and photometric variability of the Earth and the rest of the solar system planets has become of utmost importance for the future characterization of rocky exoplanets. As this is not only interesting at present times but also along the planetary evolution, we studied the effect that the evolution of microbial mats and plants over land has had on the way our planet looks from afar. As life evolved, continental surfaces changed gradually and non-uniformly from deserts through microbial mats to land plants, modifying the reflective properties of the ground and most likely the distribution of moisture and cloudiness. Here, we used a radiative transfer model of the Earth, together with geological paleo-records of the continental distribution and a reconstructed cloud distribution, to simulate the visible and near-IR radiation reflected by our planet as a function of Earth's rotation. We found that the evolution from deserts to microbial mats and to land plants produces detectable changes in the globally averaged Earth's reflectance. The variability of each surface type is located in different bands and can induce reflectance changes of up to 40% in period of hours. We conclude that by using photometric observations of an Earth-like planet at different photometric bands it would be possible to discriminate between different surface types. While recent literature proposes the red-edge feature of vegetation near 0.7 μm as a signature for land plants, observations in near-IR bands can be equally or even better suited for this purpose.

  17. Headlines: Planet Earth: Improving Climate Literacy with Short Format News Videos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenenbaum, L. F.; Kulikov, A.; Jackson, R.

    2012-12-01

    One of the challenges of communicating climate science is the sense that climate change is remote and unconnected to daily life--something that's happening to someone else or in the future. To help face this challenge, NASA's Global Climate Change website http://climate.nasa.gov has launched a new video series, "Headlines: Planet Earth," which focuses on current climate news events. This rapid-response video series uses 3D video visualization technology combined with real-time satellite data and images, to throw a spotlight on real-world events.. The "Headlines: Planet Earth" news video products will be deployed frequently, ensuring timeliness. NASA's Global Climate Change Website makes extensive use of interactive media, immersive visualizations, ground-based and remote images, narrated and time-lapse videos, time-series animations, and real-time scientific data, plus maps and user-friendly graphics that make the scientific content both accessible and engaging to the public. The site has also won two consecutive Webby Awards for Best Science Website. Connecting climate science to current real-world events will contribute to improving climate literacy by making climate science relevant to everyday life.

  18. Proceedings of the 2011 New York Workshop on Computer, Earth and Space Science

    CERN Document Server

    Naud, Catherine; CESS2011

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of the New York Workshop on Computer, Earth and Space Sciences is to bring together the New York area's finest Astronomers, Statisticians, Computer Scientists, Space and Earth Scientists to explore potential synergies between their respective fields. The 2011 edition (CESS2011) was a great success, and we would like to thank all of the presenters and participants for attending. This year was also special as it included authors from the upcoming book titled "Advances in Machine Learning and Data Mining for Astronomy". Over two days, the latest advanced techniques used to analyze the vast amounts of information now available for the understanding of our universe and our planet were presented. These proceedings attempt to provide a small window into what the current state of research is in this vast interdisciplinary field and we'd like to thank the speakers who spent the time to contribute to this volume.

  19. Increased insolation threshold for runaway greenhouse processes on Earth-like planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leconte, Jérémy; Forget, Francois; Charnay, Benjamin; Wordsworth, Robin; Pottier, Alizée

    2013-12-12

    The increase in solar luminosity over geological timescales should warm the Earth's climate, increasing water evaporation, which will in turn enhance the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Above a certain critical insolation, this destabilizing greenhouse feedback can 'run away' until the oceans have completely evaporated. Through increases in stratospheric humidity, warming may also cause evaporative loss of the oceans to space before the runaway greenhouse state occurs. The critical insolation thresholds for these processes, however, remain uncertain because they have so far been evaluated using one-dimensional models that cannot account for the dynamical and cloud feedback effects that are key stabilizing features of the Earth's climate. Here we use a three-dimensional global climate model to show that the insolation threshold for the runaway greenhouse state to occur is about 375 W m(-2), which is significantly higher than previously thought. Our model is specifically developed to quantify the climate response of Earth-like planets to increased insolation in hot and extremely moist atmospheres. In contrast with previous studies, we find that clouds have a destabilizing feedback effect on the long-term warming. However, subsident, unsaturated regions created by the Hadley circulation have a stabilizing effect that is strong enough to shift the runaway greenhouse limit to higher values of insolation than are inferred from one-dimensional models. Furthermore, because of wavelength-dependent radiative effects, the stratosphere remains sufficiently cold and dry to hamper the escape of atmospheric water, even at large fluxes. This has strong implications for the possibility of liquid water existing on Venus early in its history, and extends the size of the habitable zone around other stars.

  20. Occurrence and core-envelope structure of 1-4x Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars

    OpenAIRE

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Weiss, Lauren M.; Petigura, Erik A.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Buchhave, Lars A.

    2014-01-01

    Small planets, 1-4x the size of Earth, are extremely common around Sun-like stars, and surprisingly so, as they are missing in our solar system. Recent detections have yielded enough information about this class of exoplanets to begin characterizing their occurrence rates, orbits, masses, densities, and internal structures. The Kepler mission finds the smallest planets to be most common, as 26% of Sun-like stars have small, 1-2 R_e planets with orbital periods under 100 days, and 11% have 1-2...

  1. 60 Years of Studying the Earth-Sun System from Space: Explorer 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurbuchen, T.

    2017-12-01

    The era of space-based observation of the Earth-Sun system initiated with the Explorer-1 satellite has revolutionized our knowledge of the Earth, Sun, and the processes that connect them. The space-based perspective has not only enabled us to achieve a fundamentally new understanding of our home planet and the star that sustains us, but it has allowed for significant improvements in predictive capability that serves to protect life, health, and property. NASA has played a leadership role in the United States in creating both the technology and science that has enabled and benefited from these new capabilities, and works closely with partner agencies and around the world to synergistically address these global challenges which are of sufficient magnitude that no one nation or organization can address on their own. Three areas are at the heart of NASA's comprehensive science program: Discovering the secrets of the universe, searching for life elsewhere, and safeguarding and improving life on Earth. Together, these tenets will help NASA lead on a civilization scale. In this talk, a review of these 60 years of advances, a status of current activities, and thoughts about their evolution into the future will be presented.

  2. The Problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations and Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    The problem of extraterrestrial intelligence is the best example of multidisciplinary science. Here philosophy and religion, astronomy, radiophysics, spectrography, space flights and astronautics, geology and planetology, astroecology, chemistry and biology, history and archaeology, psychology, sociology, linguistics, diplomacy, UFOs and peculiar phenomena are involved. Among these many-sided studies, astronomers have probably displayed the most progress by discovering thousands of extrasolar planets. At present, a number of search programs are being accomplished, including those with space telescopes, and planets in so-called "habitable zone" are considered as most important ones, for which various orbital and physical parameters are being calculated. As the discovery of extraterrestrial life is the final goal, a special attention is given to Earth-like planets, for the discovery of which most sensitive technical means are necessary.

  3. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  4. Habitable zone limits for dry planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Yutaka; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Sleep, Norman H; Zahnle, Kevin J

    2011-06-01

    Most discussion of habitable planets has focused on Earth-like planets with globally abundant liquid water. For an "aqua planet" like Earth, the surface freezes if far from its sun, and the water vapor greenhouse effect runs away if too close. Here we show that "land planets" (desert worlds with limited surface water) have wider habitable zones than aqua planets. For planets at the inner edge of the habitable zone, a land planet has two advantages over an aqua planet: (i) the tropics can emit longwave radiation at rates above the traditional runaway limit because the air is unsaturated and (ii) the dry air creates a dry stratosphere that limits hydrogen escape. At the outer limits of the habitable zone, the land planet better resists global freezing because there is less water for clouds, snow, and ice. Here we describe a series of numerical experiments using a simple three-dimensional global climate model for Earth-sized planets. Other things (CO(2), rotation rate, surface pressure) unchanged, we found that liquid water remains stable at the poles of a low-obliquity land planet until net insolation exceeds 415 W/m(2) (170% that of modern Earth), compared to 330 W/m(2) (135%) for the aqua planet. At the outer limits, we found that a low-obliquity land planet freezes at 77%, while the aqua planet freezes at 90%. High-obliquity land and aqua planets freeze at 58% and 72%, respectively, with the poles offering the last refuge. We show that it is possible that, as the Sun brightens, an aqua planet like Earth can lose most of its hydrogen and become a land planet without first passing through a sterilizing runaway greenhouse. It is possible that Venus was a habitable land planet as recently as 1 billion years ago.

  5. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Triaud, Amaury H M J; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Jehin, Emmanuël; Agol, Eric; Deck, Katherine M; Lederer, Susan M; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Ingalls, James G; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Raymond, Sean N; Selsis, Franck; Turbet, Martin; Barkaoui, Khalid; Burgasser, Adam; Burleigh, Matthew R; Carey, Sean J; Chaushev, Aleksander; Copperwheat, Chris M; Delrez, Laetitia; Fernandes, Catarina S; Holdsworth, Daniel L; Kotze, Enrico J; Van Grootel, Valérie; Almleaky, Yaseen; Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2017-02-22

    One aim of modern astronomy is to detect temperate, Earth-like exoplanets that are well suited for atmospheric characterization. Recently, three Earth-sized planets were detected that transit (that is, pass in front of) a star with a mass just eight per cent that of the Sun, located 12 parsecs away. The transiting configuration of these planets, combined with the Jupiter-like size of their host star-named TRAPPIST-1-makes possible in-depth studies of their atmospheric properties with present-day and future astronomical facilities. Here we report the results of a photometric monitoring campaign of that star from the ground and space. Our observations reveal that at least seven planets with sizes and masses similar to those of Earth revolve around TRAPPIST-1. The six inner planets form a near-resonant chain, such that their orbital periods (1.51, 2.42, 4.04, 6.06, 9.1 and 12.35 days) are near-ratios of small integers. This architecture suggests that the planets formed farther from the star and migrated inwards. Moreover, the seven planets have equilibrium temperatures low enough to make possible the presence of liquid water on their surfaces.

  6. Culture of peace and care for the Planet Earth as predictors of students’ understanding of chemistry concepts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ngozi Okafor

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This study focused on how culture of peace and care for the planet earth variables predicted public coeducational secondary school students understanding of chemistry concepts in Anambra State of Nigeria. Three research questions guided the study. It was a survey and correlational research designs that involved sample of 180 drawn from six schools through a three-stage sampling procedures. Culture of Peace and Care for the Planet Earth Questionnaire (CPCPEQ and Chemistry Understanding Test (CUT were used for data collection. Their validity and reliability were determined using Cronbach alpha and Kuder-Richardson formula 20 which gave indices of r=.71 and r= 0.78 respectively. Linear regression and bivariate correlation analyses as well as One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA were used in data analysis. The results showed that for culture of peace, tolerance significantly predicted higher chemistry concepts scores while social movement significantly predicted lower concepts scores on chemistry understanding test. On care for the planet earth, adjusting thermostat significantly predicted higher scores while saving water significantly predicted lower scores on chemistry understanding test. The study recommended setting- up of Visionary Chemists for Environment and Peace Culture (VCEPC in all schools that would sensitize students on how to shun hostility, indoctrination and embracing effective methods of waste disposal. It concludes that everybody should go green, plant more trees, and promote mutual understanding, tolerance, peaceful co-existence and friendly environments as fundamental tips of peace culture and care for the planet earth that foster meaningful understanding of chemistry concepts among secondary school students.

  7. THE SYNERGY OF DIRECT IMAGING AND ASTROMETRY FOR ORBIT DETERMINATION OF EXO-EARTHS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shao, Michael; Catanzarite, Joseph; Pan Xiaopei

    2010-01-01

    The holy grail of exoplanet searches is an exo-Earth, an Earth mass planet in the habitable zone (HZ) around a nearby star. Mass is one of the most important characteristics of a planet and can only be measured by observing the motion of the star around the planet-star center of gravity. The planet's orbit can be measured either by imaging the planet at multiple epochs or by measuring the position of the star at multiple epochs by space-based astrometry. The measurement of an exoplanet's orbit by direct imaging is complicated by a number of factors. One is the inner working angle (IWA). A space coronagraph or interferometer imaging an exo-Earth can separate the light from the planet from the light from the star only when the star-planet separation is larger than the IWA. Second, the apparent brightness of a planet depends on the orbital phase. A single image of a planet cannot tell us whether the planet is in the HZ or distinguish whether it is an exo-Earth or a Neptune-mass planet. Third is the confusion that may arise from the presence of multiple planets. With two images of a multiple planet system, it is not possible to assign a dot to a planet based only on the photometry and color of the planet. Finally, the planet-star contrast must exceed a certain minimum value in order for the planet to be detected. The planet may be unobservable even when it is outside the IWA, such as when the bright side of the planet is facing away from us in a 'crescent' phase. In this paper we address the question: 'Can a prior astrometric mission that can identify which stars have Earth-like planets significantly improve the science yield of a mission to image exo-Earths?' In the case of the Occulting Ozone Observatory, a small external occulter mission that cannot measure spectra, we find that the occulter mission could confirm the orbits of ∼4 to ∼5 times as many exo-Earths if an astrometric mission preceded it to identify which stars had such planets. In the case of an

  8. Space and Planetary Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbud-Madrid, Angel

    2018-02-01

    The space and multitude of celestial bodies surrounding Earth hold a vast wealth of resources for a variety of space and terrestrial applications. The unlimited solar energy, vacuum, and low gravity in space, as well as the minerals, metals, water, atmospheric gases, and volatile elements on the Moon, asteroids, comets, and the inner and outer planets of the Solar System and their moons, constitute potential valuable resources for robotic and human space missions and for future use in our own planet. In the short term, these resources could be transformed into useful materials at the site where they are found to extend mission duration and to reduce the costly dependence from materials sent from Earth. Making propellants and human consumables from local resources can significantly reduce mission mass and cost, enabling longer stays and fueling transportation systems for use within and beyond the planetary surface. Use of finely grained soils and rocks can serve for habitat construction, radiation protection, solar cell fabrication, and food growth. The same material could also be used to develop repair and replacement capabilities using advanced manufacturing technologies. Following similar mining practices utilized for centuries on Earth, identifying, extracting, and utilizing extraterrestrial resources will enable further space exploration, while increasing commercial activities beyond our planet. In the long term, planetary resources and solar energy could also be brought to Earth if obtaining these resources locally prove to be no longer economically or environmentally acceptable. Throughout human history, resources have been the driving force for the exploration and settling of our planet. Similarly, extraterrestrial resources will make space the next destination in the quest for further exploration and expansion of our species. However, just like on Earth, not all challenges are scientific and technological. As private companies start working toward

  9. Exposure of phototrophs to 548 days in low Earth orbit: microbial selection pressures in outer space and on early earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S; Rettberg, Petra; Rabbow, Elke; Olsson-Francis, Karen

    2011-10-01

    An epilithic microbial community was launched into low Earth orbit, and exposed to conditions in outer space for 548 days on the European Space Agency EXPOSE-E facility outside the International Space Station. The natural phototroph biofilm was augmented with akinetes of Anabaena cylindrica and vegetative cells of Nostoc commune and Chroococcidiopsis. In space-exposed dark controls, two algae (Chlorella and Rosenvingiella spp.), a cyanobacterium (Gloeocapsa sp.) and two bacteria associated with the natural community survived. Of the augmented organisms, cells of A. cylindrica and Chroococcidiopsis survived, but no cells of N. commune. Only cells of Chroococcidiopsis were cultured from samples exposed to the unattenuated extraterrestrial ultraviolet (UV) spectrum (>110 nm or 200 nm). Raman spectroscopy and bright-field microscopy showed that under these conditions the surface cells were bleached and their carotenoids were destroyed, although cell morphology was preserved. These experiments demonstrate that outer space can act as a selection pressure on the composition of microbial communities. The results obtained from samples exposed to >200 nm UV (simulating the putative worst-case UV exposure on the early Earth) demonstrate the potential for epilithic colonization of land masses during that time, but that UV radiation on anoxic planets can act as a strong selection pressure on surface-dwelling organisms. Finally, these experiments have yielded new phototrophic organisms of potential use in biomass and oxygen production in space exploration.

  10. Near Earth Architectural Options for a Future Deep Space Optical Communications Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, B. L.; Liebrecht, P. E.; Fitzgerald, R. J.

    2004-01-01

    In the near future the National Aeronautics and Space Administration anticipates a significant increase in demand for long-haul communications services from deep space to Earth. Distances will range from 0.1 to 40 AU, with data rate requirements in the 1's to 1000's of Mbits/second. The near term demand is driven by NASA's Space Science Enterprise which wishes to deploy more capable instruments onboard spacecraft and increase the number of deep space missions. The long term demand is driven by missions with extreme communications challenges such as very high data rates from the outer planets, supporting sub-surface exploration, or supporting NASA's Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise beyond Earth orbit. Laser communications is a revolutionary communications technology that will dramatically increase NASA's ability to transmit information across the solar system. Lasercom sends information using beams of light and optical elements, such as telescopes and optical amplifiers, rather than RF signals, amplifiers, and antennas. This paper provides an overview of different network options at Earth to meet NASA's deep space lasercom requirements. It is based mainly on work done for the Mars Laser Communications Demonstration Project, a joint project between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (JPL), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT/LL). It reports preliminary conclusions from the Mars Lasercom Study conducted at MIT/LL and on additional work done for the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System Continuation Study at GSFC. A lasercom flight terminal will be flown on the Mars Telesat Orbiter (MTO) to be launched by NASA in 2009, and will be the first high rate deep space demonstration of this revolutionary technology.

  11. Leveraging the Thousands of Known Planets to Inform TESS Follow-Up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, Sarah

    2017-10-01

    The Solar System furnishes our most familiar planetary architecture: many planets, orbiting nearly coplanar to one another. However, a typical system of planets in the Milky Way orbits a much smaller M dwarf star, and these stars furnish a different blueprint in key ways than the conditions that nourished evolution of life on Earth. With ensemble studies of hundreds-to-thousands of exoplanets, I will describe the emerging links between planet formation from disks, orbital dynamics of planets, and the content and observability of planetary atmospheres. These quantities can be tied to observables even in discovery light curves, to enable judicious selection of follow-up targets from the ground and from space. After TESS exoplanet discoveries start in earnest, the studies of individual planets with large, space-based platforms comprise the clear next step toward understanding the hospitability of the Milky Way to life. Our success hinges upon leveraging the many thousands of planet discoveries in hand to determine how to use these precious and limited resources.

  12. Making Nature's Wisdom Public: The Affirmation of Planet Earth as a Living Organism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Michael J.

    Planet Earth is a living organism that preserves and regenerates itself and shares information with humans through sensations, feelings, and actions. After early humans migrated from their tropical origins to colder climates, they developed technologies to impose their tropical memories on their new surroundings and lost touch with their ancient…

  13. Near equality of ion phase space densities at earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A. F.; Krimigis, S. M.; Armstrong, T. P.

    1985-01-01

    Energetic-ion phase-space density profiles are strikingly similar in the inner magnetospheres of earth, Jupiter, and Saturn for ions of first adiabatic invariant near 100 MeV/G and small mirror latitudes. Losses occur inside L approximately equal to 7 for Jupiter and Saturn and inside L approximately equal to 5 at earth. At these L values there exist steep plasma-density gradients at all three planets, associated with the Io plasma torus at Jupiter, the Rhea-Dione-Tethys torus at Saturn, and the plasmasphere at earth. Measurements of ion flux-tube contents at Jupiter and Saturn by the low-energy charged-particle experiment show that these are similar (for O ions at L = 5-9) to those at earth (for protons at L = 2-6). Furthermore, the thermal-ion flux-tube contents from Voyager plasma-science data at Jupiter and Saturn are also very nearly equal, and again similar to those at earth, differing by less than a factor of 3 at the respective L values. The near equality of energetic and thermal ion flux-tube contents at earth, Jupiter, and Saturn suggests the possibility of strong physical analogies in the interaction between plasma and energetic particles at the plasma tori/plasma sheets of Jupiter and Saturn and the plasmasphere of earth.

  14. The HARPS-N Rocky Planet Search

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Motalebi, F.; Udry, S.; Gillon, M.

    2015-01-01

    We know now from radial velocity surveys and transit space missions that planets only a few times more massive than our Earth are frequent around solar-type stars. Fundamental questions about their formation history, physical properties, internal structure, and atmosphere composition are, however......, still to be solved. We present here the detection of a system of four low-mass planets around the bright (V = 5.5) and close-by (6.5 pc) star HD 219134. This is the first result of the Rocky Planet Search programme with HARPS-N on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in La Palma. The inner planet orbits...... on a close-in, quasi-circular orbit with a period of 6.767 ± 0.004 days. The third planet in the system has a period of 46.66 ± 0.08 days and a minimum-mass of 8.94 ± 1.13 M⊕, at 0.233 ± 0.002 AU from the star. Its eccentricity is 0.46 ± 0.11. The period of this planet is close to the rotational period...

  15. TWO SMALL PLANETS TRANSITING HD 3167

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W.; Mayo, Andrew W.; Berlind, Perry; Duev, Dmitry A.; Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Riddle, Reed; Baranec, Christoph; Law, Nicholas M.; Nieberding, Megan N.; Salama, Maïssa

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of two super-Earth-sized planets transiting the bright (V = 8.94, K = 7.07) nearby late G-dwarf HD 3167, using data collected by the K2 mission. The inner planet, HD 3167 b, has a radius of 1.6 R ⊕ and an ultra-short orbital period of only 0.96 days. The outer planet, HD 3167 c, has a radius of 2.9 R ⊕ and orbits its host star every 29.85 days. At a distance of just 45.8 ± 2.2 pc, HD 3167 is one of the closest and brightest stars hosting multiple transiting planets, making HD 3167 b and c well suited for follow-up observations. The star is chromospherically inactive with low rotational line-broadening, ideal for radial velocity observations to measure the planets’ masses. The outer planet is large enough that it likely has a thick gaseous envelope that could be studied via transmission spectroscopy. Planets transiting bright, nearby stars like HD 3167 are valuable objects to study leading up to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope .

  16. Space Technospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.; Steklov, A. F.; Primak, N. V.

    2000-01-01

    Two main tendencies of making the Solar System habitable are regarding nowadays: (1) making objects of the Solar System habitable; and (2) making the space of the Solar System habitable. We think that it's better to combine them. We should dezine and build settlements ('technospheres') on such objects as asteroids and comets, using their resources. That is, it is necessary to create 'space technospheres' - a long-termed human settlements in the space. To save energy resources it is necessary to use Near-Earth asteroids enriched with water ice (i. e. extinguished comets) with Near-Earth orbits. To realize listed conceptions it is necessary to decrease (up to 100 times) the cost price of the long-termed settlements. That's why even average UN country will be able to create it's own space house - artificial planet ('technosphere') and maintain life activities there. About 50-100 such artificial planets will represent the future civilization of our Solar System. At the same time Earth will stay basic, maternal planet. There is an interesting problem of correcting orbits of that objects. Orbits can be changed into circular or elongated to make them comfortable for living activities of 5000-10000 settlers, and to maintain connection with maternal planet. Technospheres with the elongated orbits are more advantageous to assimilate the Solar System. While technospheres with circular orbits suit to the industrial cycle with certain specialization. The specialization of the technosphere will depend on mine-workings and/or chosen high-technology industrial process. Because it is profitable to convert raw materials at the technosphere and then to transport finished products to the maternal planet. It worth to be mentioned that because of the low gravitation and changed life cycle technosphere settlers, new 'Columb' of the Solar System will transform into new mankind. It will happen though it is difficult to imaging this. Because long ago, when fish left the ocean, they didn

  17. Two cultures are better than one: Earth sciences and Art for a better planet sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanza, Tiziana; Rubbia, Giuliana; Negrete, Aquiles

    2015-04-01

    Climate change, pollution, desertification, natural hazard, animals' extinction are some of the problems we face every day. Very often Science and Technology are charged of the solutions while Art is intended mainly for entertainment. Are we sure this is the right attitude? "Technology is a queer thing. It brings you gifts with one hand, and stabs you in the back with the other", says C.P.Snow, author of a milestone book on the Two Cultures, namely Sciences and Humanities. If Science can drive to a rigorous knowledge of the Earth speaking to people's mind, Technology is Science in action. When individuals act very often the reasons behind their actions are linked to their education, values, sense of beauty, presence or absence of feelings, all things pertaining to the emotional sphere of humans usually addressed by humanistic culture. But if in one hand, Science and Technology cannot be left alone to solve the impelling problems that are deteriorating not only our planet resources but also our quality of life, on the other hand the humanistic culture can find a powerful ally in scientific culture for re-awakening in everybody the sense of beauty, values and respect for the planet. To know Earth is to love Earth, since nature is in itself a work of Art. Earth sciences dig out all the secrets that make our planet a unique place in the Universe we know. Every single phenomena can be seen then in a double face value. An Aurora, for instance, can inspire poetry for its beauty and colors but always remains the result of the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth magnetic field. And, most important, an Aurora will never inspire negative feelings. To make our part in creating a common field between Art and Earth sciences, we have created a blog and a related FaceBook page to collect, browsing the web, all the experiences in this trend, to find out that many scientists and artists are already working in this direction as a final and enjoyable surprise.

  18. Migration of Small Bodies and Dust to Near-Earth Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipatov, S. I.; Mather, J. C.

    Computer simulations of the orbital evolution of Jupiter-family comets (JFCs), resonant asteroids, and asteroidal, kuiperoidal, and cometary dust particles were made. The gravitational influence of planets (exclusive of Pluto and sometimes of Mercury) was taken into account. For dust particles we also considered radiation pressure, Poynting-Robertson drag, and solar wind drag. A few JFCs got Earth-crossing orbits with semi-major axes adisintegrated into mini-comets and dust during a smaller part of their dynamical lifetimes if these lifetimes are not small. The obtained results show that during the accumulation of the giant planets the total mass of icy bodies delivered to the Earth could be about the mass of water in Earth's oceans. In our runs for dust particles, the values of the ratio β between the radiation pressure force and the gravitational force varied from 0.0004 to 0.4 (for silicates, such values correspond to particle diameters between 1000 and 1 microns). For β >0.01 the collision probabilities of dust particles with the terrestrial planets during lifetimes of particles were considerably greater for larger asteroidal and cometary particles. At β ≥ 0.1 and β ≤ 0.001 some asteroidal particles migrated beyond Jupiter's orbit. The peaks in the distribution of migrating asteroidal dust particles with semi-major axis corresponding to the n:(n+1) resonances with Earth and Venus and the gaps associated with the 1:1 resonances with these planets are more pronounced for larger particles. Several our papers on this problem were put in http://arXiv.org/format/astro-ph/ (e.g., 0305519, 0308448, 0308450). This work was supported by INTAS (00-240) and NASA (NAG5-10776).

  19. Pathways Towards Habitable Planets: Capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture (6.5 meter), cryogenic space telescope with a suite of near and mid-infrared instruments covering the wavelength range of 0.6 m to 28 m. JWST s primary science goal is to detect and characterize the first galaxies. It will also study the assembly of galaxies, star formation, and the formation of evolution of planetary systems. We also review the expected scientific performance of the observatory for observations of exosolar planets by means of transit photometry and spectroscopy, and direct coronagraphic imaging and address its role in the search for habitable planets.

  20. Library of Giant Planet Reflection Spectra for WFirst and Future Space Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adam J. R. W.; Fortney, Jonathan; Morley, Caroline; Batalha, Natasha E.; Lewis, Nikole K.

    2018-01-01

    Future large space space telescopes will be able to directly image exoplanets in optical light. The optical light of a resolved planet is due to stellar flux reflected by Rayleigh scattering or cloud scattering, with absorption features imprinted due to molecular bands in the planetary atmosphere. To aid in the design of such missions, and to better understand a wide range of giant planet atmospheres, we have built a library of model giant planet reflection spectra, for the purpose of determining effective methods of spectral analysis as well as for comparison with actual imaged objects. This library covers a wide range of parameters: objects are modeled at ten orbital distances between 0.5 AU and 5.0 AU, which ranges from planets too warm for water clouds, out to those that are true Jupiter analogs. These calculations include six metalicities between solar and 100x solar, with a variety of different cloud thickness parameters, and across all possible phase angles.

  1. Kepler-36: a pair of planets with neighboring orbits and dissimilar densities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Joshua A; Agol, Eric; Chaplin, William J; Basu, Sarbani; Bedding, Timothy R; Buchhave, Lars A; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Deck, Katherine M; Elsworth, Yvonne; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan J; Hale, Steven J; Handberg, Rasmus; Hekker, Saskia; Holman, Matthew J; Huber, Daniel; Karoff, Christopher; Kawaler, Steven D; Kjeldsen, Hans; Lissauer, Jack J; Lopez, Eric D; Lund, Mikkel N; Lundkvist, Mia; Metcalfe, Travis S; Miglio, Andrea; Rogers, Leslie A; Stello, Dennis; Borucki, William J; Bryson, Steve; Christiansen, Jessie L; Cochran, William D; Geary, John C; Gilliland, Ronald L; Haas, Michael R; Hall, Jennifer; Howard, Andrew W; Jenkins, Jon M; Klaus, Todd; Koch, David G; Latham, David W; MacQueen, Phillip J; Sasselov, Dimitar; Steffen, Jason H; Twicken, Joseph D; Winn, Joshua N

    2012-08-03

    In the solar system, the planets' compositions vary with orbital distance, with rocky planets in close orbits and lower-density gas giants in wider orbits. The detection of close-in giant planets around other stars was the first clue that this pattern is not universal and that planets' orbits can change substantially after their formation. Here, we report another violation of the orbit-composition pattern: two planets orbiting the same star with orbital distances differing by only 10% and densities differing by a factor of 8. One planet is likely a rocky "super-Earth," whereas the other is more akin to Neptune. These planets are 20 times more closely spaced and have a larger density contrast than any adjacent pair of planets in the solar system.

  2. THERMAL PHASES OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS: ESTIMATING THERMAL INERTIA FROM ECCENTRICITY, OBLIQUITY, AND DIURNAL FORCING

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowan, Nicolas B.; Voigt, Aiko; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2012-01-01

    In order to understand the climate on terrestrial planets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, one would like to know their thermal inertia. We use a global climate model to simulate the thermal phase variations of Earth analogs and test whether these data could distinguish between planets with different heat storage and heat transport characteristics. In particular, we consider a temperate climate with polar ice caps (like the modern Earth) and a snowball state where the oceans are globally covered in ice. We first quantitatively study the periodic radiative forcing from, and climatic response to, rotation, obliquity, and eccentricity. Orbital eccentricity and seasonal changes in albedo cause variations in the global-mean absorbed flux. The responses of the two climates to these global seasons indicate that the temperate planet has 3× the bulk heat capacity of the snowball planet due to the presence of liquid water oceans. The obliquity seasons in the temperate simulation are weaker than one would expect based on thermal inertia alone; this is due to cross-equatorial oceanic and atmospheric energy transport. Thermal inertia and cross-equatorial heat transport have qualitatively different effects on obliquity seasons, insofar as heat transport tends to reduce seasonal amplitude without inducing a phase lag. For an Earth-like planet, however, this effect is masked by the mixing of signals from low thermal inertia regions (sea ice and land) with that from high thermal inertia regions (oceans), which also produces a damped response with small phase lag. We then simulate thermal light curves as they would appear to a high-contrast imaging mission (TPF-I/Darwin). In order of importance to the present simulations, which use modern-Earth orbital parameters, the three drivers of thermal phase variations are (1) obliquity seasons, (2) diurnal cycle, and (3) global seasons. Obliquity seasons are the dominant source of phase variations for most viewing angles. A pole-on observer

  3. THERMAL PHASES OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS: ESTIMATING THERMAL INERTIA FROM ECCENTRICITY, OBLIQUITY, AND DIURNAL FORCING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cowan, Nicolas B. [Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, 2131 Tech Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Voigt, Aiko [Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstr. 53, D-20146 Hamburg (Germany); Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: n-cowan@nortwestern.edu [Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2012-09-20

    In order to understand the climate on terrestrial planets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, one would like to know their thermal inertia. We use a global climate model to simulate the thermal phase variations of Earth analogs and test whether these data could distinguish between planets with different heat storage and heat transport characteristics. In particular, we consider a temperate climate with polar ice caps (like the modern Earth) and a snowball state where the oceans are globally covered in ice. We first quantitatively study the periodic radiative forcing from, and climatic response to, rotation, obliquity, and eccentricity. Orbital eccentricity and seasonal changes in albedo cause variations in the global-mean absorbed flux. The responses of the two climates to these global seasons indicate that the temperate planet has 3 Multiplication-Sign the bulk heat capacity of the snowball planet due to the presence of liquid water oceans. The obliquity seasons in the temperate simulation are weaker than one would expect based on thermal inertia alone; this is due to cross-equatorial oceanic and atmospheric energy transport. Thermal inertia and cross-equatorial heat transport have qualitatively different effects on obliquity seasons, insofar as heat transport tends to reduce seasonal amplitude without inducing a phase lag. For an Earth-like planet, however, this effect is masked by the mixing of signals from low thermal inertia regions (sea ice and land) with that from high thermal inertia regions (oceans), which also produces a damped response with small phase lag. We then simulate thermal light curves as they would appear to a high-contrast imaging mission (TPF-I/Darwin). In order of importance to the present simulations, which use modern-Earth orbital parameters, the three drivers of thermal phase variations are (1) obliquity seasons, (2) diurnal cycle, and (3) global seasons. Obliquity seasons are the dominant source of phase variations for most viewing angles. A

  4. The twin sister planets Venus and Earth why are they so different?

    CERN Document Server

    Malcuit, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    This book explains how it came to be that Venus and Earth, while very similar in chemical composition, zonation, size and heliocentric distance from the Sun, are very different in surface environmental conditions. It is argued here that these differences can be accounted for by planetoid capture processes and the subsequent evolution of the planet-satellite system. Venus captured a one-half moon-mass planetoid early in its history in the retrograde direction and underwent its "fatal attraction scenario" with its satellite (Adonis). Earth, on the other hand, captured a moon-mass planetoid (Luna) early in its history in prograde orbit and underwent a benign estrangement scenario with its captured satellite.

  5. New Center Links Earth, Space, and Information Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aswathanarayana, U.

    2004-05-01

    Broad-based geoscience instruction melding the Earth, space, and information technology sciences has been identified as an effective way to take advantage of the new jobs created by technological innovations in natural resources management. Based on this paradigm, the University of Hyderabad in India is developing a Centre of Earth and Space Sciences that will be linked to the university's super-computing facility. The proposed center will provide the basic science underpinnings for the Earth, space, and information technology sciences; develop new methodologies for the utilization of natural resources such as water, soils, sediments, minerals, and biota; mitigate the adverse consequences of natural hazards; and design innovative ways of incorporating scientific information into the legislative and administrative processes. For these reasons, the ethos and the innovatively designed management structure of the center would be of particular relevance to the developing countries. India holds 17% of the world's human population, and 30% of its farm animals, but only about 2% of the planet's water resources. Water will hence constitute the core concern of the center, because ecologically sustainable, socially equitable, and economically viable management of water resources of the country holds the key to the quality of life (drinking water, sanitation, and health), food security, and industrial development of the country. The center will be focused on interdisciplinary basic and pure applied research that is relevant to the practical needs of India as a developing country. These include, for example, climate prediction, since India is heavily dependent on the monsoon system, and satellite remote sensing of soil moisture, since agriculture is still a principal source of livelihood in India. The center will perform research and development in areas such as data assimilation and validation, and identification of new sensors to be mounted on the Indian meteorological

  6. Asteroid impacts on terrestrial planets: the effects of super-Earths and the role of the ν6 resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smallwood, Jeremy L.; Martin, Rebecca G.; Lepp, Stephen; Livio, Mario

    2018-01-01

    With N-body simulations of a planetary system with an asteroid belt, we investigate how the asteroid impact rate on the Earth is affected by the architecture of the planetary system. We find that the ν6 secular resonance plays an important role in the asteroid collision rate with the Earth. Compared to exoplanetary systems, the Solar system is somewhat special in its lack of a super-Earth mass planet in the inner Solar system. We therefore first consider the effects of the presence of a super-Earth in the terrestrial planet region. We find a significant effect for super-Earths with a mass of around 10 M⊕ and a separation greater than about 0.7 au. For a super-Earth which is interior to the Earth's orbit, the number of asteroids colliding with Earth increases the closer the super-Earth is to the Earth's orbit. This is the result of multiple secular resonance locations causing more asteroids to be perturbed on to Earth-crossing orbits. When the super-Earth is placed exterior to Earth's orbit, the collision rate decreases substantially because the ν6 resonance no longer exists in the asteroid belt region. We also find that changing the semimajor axis of Saturn leads to a significant decrease in the asteroid collision rate, though increasing its mass increases the collision rate. These results may have implications for the habitability of exoplanetary systems.

  7. Lonely life of a double planet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1988-08-25

    The paper concerns extraterrestrial intelligence, and the requirements for a terrestrial planet and life. The effect of the Moon on the Earth, the presence of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, the Earth's magnetic field, and the Earth's molten core, the distance between the sun and Earth where life is possible, and estimates of the number of habitable planets in the galaxies, are all discussed. (U.K.).

  8. Confirmation of Earth-Mass Planets Orbiting the Millisecond Pulsar PSR B1257 + 12.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolszczan, A

    1994-04-22

    The discovery of two Earth-mass planets orbiting an old ( approximately 10(9) years), rapidly spinning neutron star, the 6.2-millisecond radio pulsar PSR B1257+12, was announced in early 1992. It was soon pointed out that the approximately 3:2 ratio of the planets' orbital periods should lead to accurately predictable and possibly measurable gravitational perturbations of their orbits. The unambiguous detection of this effect, after 3 years of systematic timing observations of PSR B1257+12 with the 305-meter Arecibo radiotelescope, as well as the discovery of another, moon-mass object in orbit around the pulsar, constitutes irrefutable evidence that the first planetary system around a star other than the sun has been identified.

  9. The problem of iron partition between Earth and Moon during simultaneous formation as a double planet system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, W. A.

    1984-01-01

    A planetary model is described which requires fractional vapor/liquid condensation, planet accumulation during condensation, a late start for accumulation of the Moon, and volatile accretion to the surfaces of each planet only near the end of the accumulation process. In the model, initial accumulation of small objects is helped if the agglomerating particles are somewhat sticky. Assuming that growth proceeds through this range, agglomeration continues. If the reservoir of vapor is being preferentially depleted in iron by fractional condensation, an iron-rich planetary core forms. As the temperature decreases, condensing material becomes progressively richer in silicates and poorer in iron, forming the silicate-rich mantle of an already differentiated Earth. A second center of agglomeration successfully forms near the growing Earth after most of the iron in the reservoir has been used up. The bulk composition of the Moon then is similar to the outer mantle of the accumulating Earth.

  10. Effect of ''outer'' sources and dissipative processes on abundance of inert gases in atmospheres of the Earth group planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pavlov, A.K.

    1981-01-01

    The problem of abundance of inert gases in atmospheres of the Earth group planets is discussed. It is shown that introduction of He, Ne and 36 Ar into the Mars and Mercury atmospheres with interplanetary dust and from other external sources require the presence of special mechanisms of losses for these gases. For the Mars atmosphere dissipation on atmosphere interaction with solar wind during the periods of anomalously low temperatures is a probable mechanisms of Ne and 36 Ar losses. For the Mercury thermal dissipation for He and polar wind for other inert gases are possible. For all the planets of the Earth group dissipation on interaction with solar wind and introduction with interplanetary dust could play an important role at the early stages of evolution of planets [ru

  11. Equilibrium Temperatures and Albedos of Habitable Earth-Like Planets in a Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean GCM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Genio, Anthony; Way, Michael; Amundsen, David; Sohl, Linda; Fujii, Yuka; Ebihara, Yuka; Kiang, Nancy; Chandler, Mark; Aleinov, Igor; Kelley, Maxwell

    2017-01-01

    The potential habitability of detected exoplanets is typically assessed using the concept of equilibrium temperature (T[subscript] e) based on cloud-free 1-D models with assumed albedo equal to Earth's (0.3) to determine whether a planet lies in the habitable zone. Incident stellar flux appears to be a better metric for stars unlike the Sun. These estimates, however, ignore the effect of clouds on planetary albedo and the fact that the climates of synchronously rotating planets are not well predicted by 1-D models. Given that most planet candidates that will be detected in the next few years will be tidally locked and orbiting M stars, how might the habitable zone e tailored to better in-form characterization with scarce observing resources?

  12. Kepler-36: A Pair of Planets with Neighboring Orbits and Dissimilar Densities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carter, J. A.; Agol, E.; Chaplin, W. J.; Basu, S.; Bedding, T. R.; Buchhave, L. A.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Deck, K. M.; Elsworth, Y.; Fabrycky, D. C.; Ford, E. B.; Fortney, J. J.; Hale, S. J.; Handberg, R.; Hekker, S.; Holman, M. J.; Huber, D.; Karoff, C.; Kawaler, S. D.; Kjeldsen, H.; Lissauer, J. J.; Lopez, E. D.; Lund, M. N.; Lundkvist, M.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Miglio, A.; Rogers, L. A.; Stello, D.; Borucki, W. J.; Bryson, S.; Christiansen, J. L.; Cochran, W. D.; Geary, J. C.; Gilliland, R. L.; Haas, M. R.; Hall, J.; Howard, A. W.; Jenkins, J. M.; Klaus, T.; Koch, D. G.; Latham, D. W.; MacQueen, P. J.; Sasselov, D.; Steffen, J. H.; Twicken, J. D.; Winn, J. N.

    2012-06-21

    In the Solar system the planets' compositions vary with orbital distance, with rocky planets in close orbits and lower-density gas giants in wider orbits. The detection of close-in giant planets around other stars was the first clue that this pattern is not universal, and that planets' orbits can change substantially after their formation. Here we report another violation of the orbit-composition pattern: two planets orbiting the same star with orbital distances differing by only 10%, and densities differing by a factor of 8. One planet is likely a rocky `super-Earth', whereas the other is more akin to Neptune. These planets are thirty times more closely spaced--and have a larger density contrast--than any adjacent pair of planets in the Solar system.

  13. THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF SMALL PLANETS AROUND SMALL STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David

    2013-01-01

    We use the optical and near-infrared photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog to provide improved estimates of the stellar characteristics of the smallest stars in the Kepler target list. We find 3897 dwarfs with temperatures below 4000 K, including 64 planet candidate host stars orbited by 95 transiting planet candidates. We refit the transit events in the Kepler light curves for these planet candidates and combine the revised planet/star radius ratios with our improved stellar radii to revise the radii of the planet candidates orbiting the cool target stars. We then compare the number of observed planet candidates to the number of stars around which such planets could have been detected in order to estimate the planet occurrence rate around cool stars. We find that the occurrence rate of 0.5-4 R ⊕ planets with orbital periods shorter than 50 days is 0.90 +0.04 -0.03 planets per star. The occurrence rate of Earth-size (0.5-1.4 R ⊕ ) planets is constant across the temperature range of our sample at 0.51 -0.05 +0.06 Earth-size planets per star, but the occurrence of 1.4-4 R ⊕ planets decreases significantly at cooler temperatures. Our sample includes two Earth-size planet candidates in the habitable zone, allowing us to estimate that the mean number of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone is 0.15 +0.13 -0.06 planets per cool star. Our 95% confidence lower limit on the occurrence rate of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of cool stars is 0.04 planets per star. With 95% confidence, the nearest transiting Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cool star is within 21 pc. Moreover, the nearest non-transiting planet in the habitable zone is within 5 pc with 95% confidence.

  14. On the Stability of Deinoxanthin Exposed to Mars Conditions during a Long-Term Space Mission and Implications for Biomarker Detection on Other Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Leuko

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Outer space, the final frontier, is a hostile and unforgiving place for any form of life as we know it. The unique environment of space allows for a close simulation of Mars surface conditions that cannot be simulated as accurately on the Earth. For this experiment, we tested the resistance of Deinococcus radiodurans to survive exposure to simulated Mars-like conditions in low-Earth orbit for a prolonged period of time as part of the Biology and Mars experiment (BIOMEX project. Special focus was placed on the integrity of the carotenoid deinoxanthin, which may serve as a potential biomarker to search for remnants of life on other planets. Survival was investigated by evaluating colony forming units, damage inflicted to the 16S rRNA gene by quantitative PCR, and the integrity and detectability of deinoxanthin by Raman spectroscopy. Exposure to space conditions had a strong detrimental effect on the survival of the strains and the 16S rRNA integrity, yet results show that deinoxanthin survives exposure to conditions as they prevail on Mars. Solar radiation is not only strongly detrimental to the survival and 16S rRNA integrity but also to the Raman signal of deinoxanthin. Samples not exposed to solar radiation showed only minuscule signs of deterioration. To test whether deinoxanthin is able to withstand the tested parameters without the protection of the cell, it was extracted from cell homogenate and exposed to high/low temperatures, vacuum, germicidal UV-C radiation, and simulated solar radiation. Results obtained by Raman investigations showed a strong resistance of deinoxanthin against outer space and Mars conditions, with the only exception of the exposure to simulated solar radiation. Therefore, deinoxanthin proved to be a suitable easily detectable biomarker for the search of Earth-like organic pigment-containing life on other planets.

  15. EARTH FROM SPACE

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Table of contents. EARTH FROM SPACE · Slide 2 · Earth System · Slide 4 · Global water cycle · Slide 6 · Slide 7 · Direct Observations of Recent Climate Change · Slide 9 · Slide 10 · Snow cover and Arctic sea ice are decreasing · Polar Melting & Global Heat Transport · Antarctica: Melting and Thickening · Slide 14 · Slide 15.

  16. Project Earth Science

    CERN Document Server

    Holt, Geoff

    2011-01-01

    Project Earth Science: Astronomy, Revised 2nd Edition, involves students in activities that focus on Earth's position in our solar system. How do we measure astronomical distances? How can we look back in time as we gaze across vast distances in space? How would our planet be different without its particular atmosphere and distance to our star? What are the geometries among Earth, the Moon, and the Sun that yield lunar phases and seasons? Students explore these concepts and others in 11 teacher-tested activities.

  17. Looking at the earth from space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geller, Marvin A.

    1988-01-01

    Some of the scientific accomplishments attained in observing the earth from space are discussed. A brief overview of findings concerning the atmosphere, the oceans and sea ice, the solid earth, and the terrestrial hydrosphere and biosphere is presented, and six examples are examined in which space data have provided unique information enabling new knowledge concerning the workings of the earth to be derived. These examples concern stratospheric water vapor, hemispheric differences in surface and atmosphere parameters, Seasat altimeter mesoscale variability, variability of Antarctic sea ice, variations in the length of day, and spaceborne radar imaging of ancient rivers. Future space observations of the earth are briefly addressed.

  18. TWO SMALL PLANETS TRANSITING HD 3167

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W.; Mayo, Andrew W.; Berlind, Perry [Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Duev, Dmitry A.; Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Riddle, Reed [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Baranec, Christoph [University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Law, Nicholas M. [University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (United States); Nieberding, Megan N. [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Salama, Maïssa, E-mail: avanderburg@cfa.harvard.edu [University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2016-09-20

    We report the discovery of two super-Earth-sized planets transiting the bright (V = 8.94, K = 7.07) nearby late G-dwarf HD 3167, using data collected by the K2 mission. The inner planet, HD 3167 b, has a radius of 1.6 R {sub ⊕} and an ultra-short orbital period of only 0.96 days. The outer planet, HD 3167 c, has a radius of 2.9 R {sub ⊕} and orbits its host star every 29.85 days. At a distance of just 45.8 ± 2.2 pc, HD 3167 is one of the closest and brightest stars hosting multiple transiting planets, making HD 3167 b and c well suited for follow-up observations. The star is chromospherically inactive with low rotational line-broadening, ideal for radial velocity observations to measure the planets’ masses. The outer planet is large enough that it likely has a thick gaseous envelope that could be studied via transmission spectroscopy. Planets transiting bright, nearby stars like HD 3167 are valuable objects to study leading up to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope .

  19. Near Earth Objects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wolff, Stefan

    2006-01-01

    , Near Earth Objects: Asteroids and comets following paths that bring them near the Earth. NEOs have collided with the Earth since its formation, some causing local devastation, some causing global climate changes, yet the threat from a collision with a near Earth object has only recently been recognised...... and accepted. The European Space Agency mission Gaia is a proposed space observatory, designed to perform a highly accurate census of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and beyond. Through accurate measurement of star positions, Gaia is expected to discover thousands of extra-solar planets and follow the bending...... of starlight by the Sun, and therefore directly observe the structure of space-time. This thesis explores several aspects of the observation of NEOs with Gaia, emphasising detection of NEOs and the quality of orbits computed from Gaia observations. The main contribution is the work on motion detection...

  20. Constraints on planet formation from Kepler’s multiple planet systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, Elisa V.

    2015-01-01

    The recent haul of hundreds of multiple planet systems discovered by Kepler provides a treasure trove of new clues for planet formation theories. The substantial amount of protoplanetary disk mass needed to form the most commonly observed multi-planet systems - small (Earth-sized to mini-Neptune-sized) planets close to their stars - argues against pure in situ formation and suggests that the planets in these systems must have undergone some form of migration. I will present results from numerical simulations of terrestrial planet formation that aim to reproduce the sizes and architecture of Kepler's multi-planet systems, and will discuss the observed resonances and giant planets (or the lack thereof) associated with these systems.

  1. Planets as background noise sources in free space optical communications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, J.

    1986-01-01

    Background noise generated by planets is the dominant noise source in most deep space direct detection optical communications systems. Earlier approximate analyses of this problem are based on simplified blackbody calculations and can yield results that may be inaccurate by up to an order of magnitude. Various other factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as the phase angle and the actual spectral dependence of the planet albedo, in order to obtain a more accurate estimate of the noise magnitude are examined.

  2. How to save the earth planet. Ecology and human spirit. Sauver la planete terre. L'ecologie et l'esprit humain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al Gore.

    1993-01-01

    The author has undertaken for 25 years in all the struggles for the environment protection. His ecology competences are worldwide recognized. With ''HOW TO SAVE THE EARTH PLANET'' AL GORE calls for help facing a great importance economic crisis, the consequences of which are dramatic. Beyond the exhaustive report, very well documented on the scientific topics, he proposes a true ecologic ''Marshall PLAN'' at the planet level, and a global reflection followed by precise and concrete measures. In the beginning of the XXIst century the challenge taken up by AL GORE is also a true defence plea for the future. We are all concerned and our children too. 27 refs.

  3. A Population of Very-Hot Super-Earths in Multiple-Planet Systems Should be Uncovered by Kepler

    OpenAIRE

    Schlaufman, Kevin C.; Lin, D. N. C.; Ida, S.

    2010-01-01

    We simulate a Kepler-like observation of a theoretical exoplanet population and we show that the observed orbital period distribution of the Kepler giant planet candidates is best matched by an average stellar specific dissipation function Q_* in the interval 10^6 ~< Q_* ~< 10^7. In that situation, the few super-Earths that are driven to orbital periods P < 1 day by dynamical interactions in multiple-planet systems will survive tidal disruption for a significant fraction of the main-sequence ...

  4. Bioremediation at a global scale: from the test tube to planet Earth

    OpenAIRE

    de Lorenzo, V?ctor; Marli?re, Philippe; Sol?, Ricard

    2016-01-01

    Summary Planet Earth's biosphere has evolved over billions of years as a balanced bio?geological system ultimately sustained by sunpower and the large?scale cycling of elements largely run by the global environmental microbiome. Humans have been part of this picture for much of their existence. But the industrial revolution started in the XIX century and the subsequent advances in medicine, chemistry, agriculture and communications have impacted such balances to an unprecedented degree ? and ...

  5. Deep Space Detectives: Searching for Planets Suitable for Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallant, Amy; Damelin, Daniel; Pryputniewicz, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    This article describes the High-Adventure Science curriculum unit "Is There Life in Space?" This free online investigation, developed by The Concord Consortium, helps students see how scientists use modern tools to locate planets around distant stars and explore the probability of finding extraterrestrial life. This innovative curriculum…

  6. Colors of extreme exo-Earth environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegde, Siddharth; Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    The search for extrasolar planets has already detected rocky planets and several planetary candidates with minimum masses that are consistent with rocky planets in the habitable zone of their host stars. A low-resolution spectrum in the form of a color-color diagram of an exoplanet is likely to be one of the first post-detection quantities to be measured for the case of direct detection. In this paper, we explore potentially detectable surface features on rocky exoplanets and their connection to, and importance as, a habitat for extremophiles, as known on Earth. Extremophiles provide us with the minimum known envelope of environmental limits for life on our planet. The color of a planet reveals information on its properties, especially for surface features of rocky planets with clear atmospheres. We use filter photometry in the visible as a first step in the characterization of rocky exoplanets to prioritize targets for follow-up spectroscopy. Many surface environments on Earth have characteristic albedos and occupy a different color space in the visible waveband (0.4-0.9 μm) that can be distinguished remotely. These detectable surface features can be linked to the extreme niches that support extremophiles on Earth and provide a link between geomicrobiology and observational astronomy. This paper explores how filter photometry can serve as a first step in characterizing Earth-like exoplanets for an aerobic as well as an anaerobic atmosphere, thereby prioritizing targets to search for atmospheric biosignatures.

  7. A novel space ocular syndrome is driving technology advances on and off the planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donoviel, Dorit B.; Zimmer, Cheryl N.; Clayton, Richard

    2017-05-01

    Astronauts are experiencing ophthalmological changes including optic disc edema, globe flattening, choroidal folds, and significant hyperopic shifts. In a handful of cases in which it was measured, intracranial pressure as measured by lumbar punctures was elevated post-flight. The severity of symptoms is highly variable and the underlying etiology is unknown, but a spaceflight associated cephalad-fluid shift is thought to play a role. NASA requires portable, non-invasive, clinically-validated approaches to assessing the ocular and the cerebral physiological, anatomical, and functional changes. Multispectral Imaging (MSI) that enables instruments installed on satellites in space to observe Earth was applied in an ophthalmic medical device that is clinically being used on Earth and now being evaluated for use on humans in space. The Annidis RHA™ (Ottawa, Canada) uses narrow band light emitting diodes (LEDs) to create discrete slices of anatomical structures of the posterior pole of the eye. The LEDs cover a frequency range from 520 to 940 nm, which allow for specific visualization of the different features of the posterior segment of the eye including retina, choroid and optic nerve head. Interestingly, infrared illumination at 940 nm reflects from the posterior sclera, retro-illuminating the choroidal vasculature without the need for invasive contrast agents. Abnormalities in retinal, choroidal or cerebral venous drainage and/or arterial flow may contribute to the microgravity ocular syndrome (MOS) in astronauts; hence this space technology may prove to be invaluable for diagnosing not only the health of our planet but also of the humans living on it and above it.

  8. INTERACTION OF CLOSE-IN PLANETS WITH THE MAGNETOSPHERE OF THEIR HOST STARS. II. SUPER-EARTHS AS UNIPOLAR INDUCTORS AND THEIR ORBITAL EVOLUTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laine, Randy O.; Lin, Douglas N. C.

    2012-01-01

    Planets with several Earth masses and orbital periods of a few days have been discovered through radial velocity and transit surveys. Regardless of their formation mechanism, an important evolution issue is the efficiency of their retention in the proximity of their host stars. If these 'super-Earths' attained their present-day orbits during or shortly after the T Tauri phase of their host stars, a large fraction of these planets would have encountered an intense stellar magnetic field. These rocky planets have a higher conductivity than the atmosphere of their host stars and, therefore, the magnetic flux tube connecting them would slip though the envelope of the host stars faster than across the planets. The induced electromotive force across the planet's diameter leads to a potential drop which propagates along a flux tube away from the planet with an Alfvén speed. The foot of the flux tube would sweep across the stellar surface and the potential drop across the field lines drives a DC current analogous to that proposed for the electrodynamics of the Io-Jupiter system. The ohmic dissipation of this current produces potentially observable hot spots in the star envelope. It also heats the planet and leads to a torque which drives the planet's orbit to evolve toward both circularization and a state of synchronization with the spin of the star. The net effect is the damping of the planet's orbital eccentricity. Around slowly (or rapidly) spinning stars, this process also causes rocky planets with periods less than a few days to undergo orbital decay (or expansion/stagnation) within a few Myr. In principle, this effect can determine the retention efficiency of short-period hot Earths. We also estimate the ohmic dissipation interior to these planets and show that it can lead to severe structure evolution and potential loss of volatile material in them. However, these effects may be significantly weakened by the reconnection of the induced field.

  9. The Kepler Mission: A Search for Terrestrial Planets - Development Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, David; Borucki, W.; Mayer, D.; Caldwell, D.; Jenkens, J.; Dunham, E.; Geary, J.; Bachtell, E.; Deininger, W.; Philbrick, R.

    2003-01-01

    We have embarked on a mission to detect terrestrial planets. The space mission has been optimized to search for earth-size planets (0.5 to 10 earth masses) in the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars. Given this design, the mission will necessarily be capable of not only detecting Earth analogs, but a wide range of planetary types and characteristics ranging from Mercury-size objects with orbital periods of days to gas-giants in decade long orbits that have undeniable signatures even with only one transit detected. The mission is designed to survey the full range of spectral-type dwarf stars. The approach is to detect the periodic signal of transiting planets. Three or more transits of a star exceeding a combined threshold of eight sigma with a statistically consistent period, brightness change and duration provide a rigorous method of detection. From the relative brightness change the planet size can be calculated. From the period the orbital size can be calculated and its location relative to the HZ determined. Presented here are: the mission goals, the top level system design requirements derived from these goals that drive the flight system design, a number of the trades that have lead to the mission concept, expected photometric performance dependence on stellar brightness and spectral type based on the system 'noise tree' analysis. Updated estimates are presented of the numbers of detectable planets versus size, orbit, stellar spectral type and distances based on a planet frequency hypothesis. The current project schedule and organization are given.

  10. The ocean planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinrichsen, D

    1998-01-01

    The Blue Planet is 70% water, and all but 3% of it is salt water. Life on earth first evolved in the primordial soup of ancient seas, and though today's seas provide 99% of all living space on the planet, little is known about the world's oceans. However, the fact that the greatest threats to the integrity of our oceans come from land-based activities is becoming clear. Humankind is in the process of annihilating the coastal and ocean ecosystems and the wealth of biodiversity they harbor. Mounting population and development pressures have taken a grim toll on coastal and ocean resources. The trend arising from such growth is the chronic overexploitation of marine resources, whereby rapidly expanding coastal populations and the growth of cities have contributed to a rising tide of pollution in nearly all of the world's seas. This crisis is made worse by government inaction and a frustrating inability to enforce existing coastal and ocean management regulations. Such inability is mainly because concerned areas contain so many different types of regulations and involve so many levels of government, that rational planning and coordination of efforts are rendered impossible. Concerted efforts are needed by national governments and the international community to start preserving the ultimate source of all life on earth.

  11. SPACE: Enhancing Life on Earth. Proceedings Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobden, Alan (Editor); Hobden, Beverly (Editor); Bagley, Larry E. (Editor); Bolton, Ed (Editor); Campaigne, Len O. (Editor); Cole, Ron (Editor); France, Marty (Editor); Hand, Rich (Editor); McKinley, Cynthia (Editor); Zimkas, Chuck (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    The proceedings of the 12th National Space Symposium on Enhancing Life on Earth is presented. Technological areas discussed include: Space applications and cooperation; Earth sensing, communication, and navigation applications; Global security interests in space; and International space station and space launch capabilities. An appendices that include featured speakers, program participants, and abbreviation & acronyms glossary is also attached.

  12. A Novel Theory For The Origin And Evolution Of Stars And Planets, Including Earth, Which Asks, 'Was The Earth Once A Small Bright Star?'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimorelli, S. A.; Samuels, C.

    2001-12-01

    Improved prediction methods for earthquakes and volcanic activity will naturally follow from our theory, based on new concepts of the earth's interior composition, state and activity. In this paper we present a novel hypothesis for the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars (including black holes (BHs), neutron stars, giant, mid-size, dwarf, dying and dead stars), planets (including earth), and moons. Present day phenomenon will be used to substantiate the validity of this hypothesis. Every `body' is a multiple type of star, generated from modified pieces called particle proliferators, of a dislodged/expanded BH (of category 2 (c-2)) which explodes due to a collision with another expanded BH (or explodes on its own). This includes the sun, and the planet earth, which is a type of dead star. Such that, if we remove layers of the earth, starting with the crust, we will find evidence of each preceding star formation, from brown to blue, and the remains of the particle proliferator as the innermost core is reached. We show that the hypothesis is consistent with both the available astronomical data regarding stellar evolution and planetary formation; as well as the evolution of the earth itself, by considerations of the available geophysical data. Where data is not available, reasonably simple experiments are suggested to demonstrate further the consistency and viability of the hypothesis. Theories are presented to help define and explain phenomenon such as how two (or more) c-2 BHs expand and collide to form a small `big bang' (It is postulated that there was a small big bang to form each galaxy, similar to the big bang from a category 1 BH(s) that may have formed our universe. The Great Attractors would be massive c-2 BHs and act on galaxy clusters similar to the massive c-3 BHs at the center of Galaxies acting on stars.). This in turn afforded the material/matter to form all the galactic bodies, including the dark matter inside the galaxies that we catalogue as

  13. Exoplanet dynamics. Asynchronous rotation of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leconte, Jérémy; Wu, Hanbo; Menou, Kristen; Murray, Norman

    2015-02-06

    Planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars are often assumed to be in a state of tidally synchronized rotation, which would considerably affect their putative habitability. Although thermal tides cause Venus to rotate retrogradely, simple scaling arguments tend to attribute this peculiarity to the massive Venusian atmosphere. Using a global climate model, we show that even a relatively thin atmosphere can drive terrestrial planets' rotation away from synchronicity. We derive a more realistic atmospheric tide model that predicts four asynchronous equilibrium spin states, two being stable, when the amplitude of the thermal tide exceeds a threshold that is met for habitable Earth-like planets with a 1-bar atmosphere around stars more massive than ~0.5 to 0.7 solar mass. Thus, many recently discovered terrestrial planets could exhibit asynchronous spin-orbit rotation, even with a thin atmosphere. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  14. The lonely life of a double planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1988-01-01

    The paper concerns extraterrestrial intelligence, and the requirements for a terrestrial planet and life. The effect of the Moon on the Earth, the presence of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, the Earth's magnetic field, and the Earth's molten core, the distance between the sun and Earth where life is possible, and estimates of the number of habitable planets in the galaxies, are all discussed. (U.K.)

  15. The New Worlds Observer: An Optimal Path to Direct Study of Earth-like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cash, Webster C., Jr.; New Worlds Study Team

    2009-01-01

    Direct detection and spectroscopic study of the planets around the nearby stars is generally recognized as a prime goal of astronomy. The New Worlds Observer mission concept is being studied as an Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept Study for this purpose. NWO features two spacecraft: a general purpose 4m telescope that operates from the UV to the Near IR, and a starshade, a flower-shaped occulter about 50m in diameter flying in alignment about 70,000km away. Our study shows this is the most effective way to map nearby planetary systems. In this poster we will show that NWO can return much more science than any of the competing approaches at any given price point. Images will show dust and debris down to a fraction of our zodiacal light level. Planets fainter than the Earth can be seen from the Habitable Zone outward, at distances up to 20pc. High throughput and low noise enable immediate follow-up spectroscopy of discovered planets. NWO can discover many more Earth-like planets than all competing approaches including astrometric, interferometric, and internal coronagraphic. Within hours of discovery, a high quality spectrum can determine the true nature of the exoplanet and open the search for biomarkers and life. Over half of the time will be spent with the starshade in transit to the next target. During those times the telescope will be available to for general astrophysics purposes. Operating from the ultraviolet to the near infrared, this will be a true HST follow-on. The study shows all needed technologies already exist. The cost scales primarily with telescope size. The mission is definitely within the financial and technical reach of NASA for the coming decade.

  16. Differentiation of crusts and cores of the terrestrial planets: lessons for the early Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solomon, S.C.

    1980-01-01

    It now appears probable that all of the terrestrial planets underwent some form of global chemical differentiation to produce crusts, mantles, and cores of variable relative mass fractions. There is direct seismic evidence for a crust on the Moon, and indirect evidence for distinct crusts on Mars and Venus. Substantial portions of these crusts have been in place since the time that heavy bombardment of the inner solar system ceased approximately 4 Ga ago. There is direct evidence for a sizeable core on Mars, indirect evidence for one on Mercury, and bounds on a possible small core for the Moon. Core formation is an important heat source confined to times prior to 4 Ga ago for Mercury and the Earth, but was not closely linked to crustal formation on the Moon nor, apparently, on Mars. The tectonic and volcanic histories of the surfaces of the terrestrial planets Moon, Mars, and Mercury can be used, with simple thermal history models, to restrict the earliest chemical differentiation to be shallow (outer 200-400 km) for the first two bodies and much more extensive for Mercury. Extension of these models to an Earth-size planet leads to the prediction of a hot and vigorously convecting mantle with an easily deformable crust immediately following core formation, and of the gradual development of a lithosphere and of plates with some lateral rigidity in Late Archean-Proterzoic times. (Auth.)

  17. Kepler Mission: a Discovery-Class Mission Designed to Determine the Frequency of Earth-Size and Larger Planets Around Solar-Like Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Lissauer, Jack; Basri, Gibor; Caldwell, John; Cochran, William; Dunham, Edward W.; Gilliland, Ronald; Caldwell, Douglas; Kondo, Yoji; hide

    2002-01-01

    The first step in discovering the extent of life in our galaxy is to determine the number of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (HZ). The Kepler Mission is designed around a 0.95 in aperture Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. Measurements of the depth and repetition time of transits provide the size of the planet relative to the star and its orbital period. When combined with ground-based spectroscopy of these stars to fix the stellar parameters, the true planet radius and orbit scale, hence the position relative to the HZ are determined. These spectra are also used to discover the relationships between the characteristics of planets and the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of terrestrial planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. Extending the mission to six years doubles the expected number of Earth-size planets in the HZ. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ occur in less than 1% of the stars and that life might be quite rare. Based on the results of the current Doppler-velocity discoveries, detection of a thousand giant planets is expected. Information on their albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained.

  18. THE FIRST PLANETS: THE CRITICAL METALLICITY FOR PLANET FORMATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Jarrett L.; Li Hui

    2012-01-01

    A rapidly growing body of observational results suggests that planet formation takes place preferentially at high metallicity. In the core accretion model of planet formation this is expected because heavy elements are needed to form the dust grains which settle into the midplane of the protoplanetary disk and coagulate to form the planetesimals from which planetary cores are assembled. As well, there is observational evidence that the lifetimes of circumstellar disks are shorter at lower metallicities, likely due to greater susceptibility to photoevaporation. Here we estimate the minimum metallicity for planet formation, by comparing the timescale for dust grain growth and settling to that for disk photoevaporation. For a wide range of circumstellar disk models and dust grain properties, we find that the critical metallicity above which planets can form is a function of the distance r at which the planet orbits its host star. With the iron abundance relative to that of the Sun [Fe/H] as a proxy for the metallicity, we estimate a lower limit for the critical abundance for planet formation of [Fe/H] crit ≅ –1.5 + log (r/1 AU), where an astronomical unit (AU) is the distance between the Earth and the Sun. This prediction is in agreement with the available observational data, and carries implications for the properties of the first planets and for the emergence of life in the early universe. In particular, it implies that the first Earth-like planets likely formed from circumstellar disks with metallicities Z ∼> 0.1 Z ☉ . If planets are found to orbit stars with metallicities below the critical metallicity, this may be a strong challenge to the core accretion model.

  19. Modelos del planeta Tierra en escolares rurales de Chile / Planet Earth models about students in rural schools from Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Alonqueo Boudon

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available RESUMEN El presente estudio tuvo como objetivo identificar los modelos del planeta Tierra en escolares mapuches y no mapuches de procedencia rural. Los participantes fueron 40 escolares distribuidos en dos grupos de edad, quienes respondieron a una tarea cognitiva que indaga la representación de la forma del planeta Tierra. En base al grado de acuerdo con la representación científica, cada participante fue categorizado en uno de cuatro modelos del planeta Tierra. El modelo 4, concordante con el conocimiento científico, no fue observado, pues la mayoría de los participantes se concentra en el modelo 3 en el que coexisten conocimientos previos con algunos elementos científicos. En los niños no mapuches se aprecia que el modelo del planeta Tierra se ajusta a los significados científicos a medida que aumenta el conocimiento escolar. Por el contrario, en los niños mapuches no se observa esta tendencia. Se discute el papel de la cultura y la enseñanza en el aprendizaje del modelo científico del planeta. ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to identify planet Earth models in mapuches and non mapuches students of rural origin. The participants were 40 students divided into two age groups who responded to a cognitive task which explores the representation of the shape of the planet Earth. Based on the degree of agreement with the scientific representation, each participant was categorized into one of four models of planet Earth. Model 4, consistent with the scientific knowledge was not observed because the majority of the participants were concentrated in Model 3. In non mapuche children, it is observed that the model of the planet Earth is adjusted to the scientific meaning in accordance with the increase of school knowledge. On the other hand, this trend is not observed in mapuche children. The role of culture and teaching is discussed in the learning of planet scientific model.

  20. The Earth's Plasmasphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, D. L.

    2015-01-01

    The Earth's plasmasphere is an inner part of the magneteosphere. It is located just outside the upper ionosphere located in Earth's atmosphere. It is a region of dense, cold plasma that surrounds the Earth. Although plasma is found throughout the magnetosphere, the plasmasphere usually contains the coldest plasma. Here's how it works: The upper reaches of our planet's atmosphere are exposed to ultraviolet light from the Sun, and they are ionized with electrons that are freed from neutral atmospheric particles. The results are electrically charged negative and positive particles. The negative particles are electrons, and the positive particles are now called ions (formerly atoms and molecules). If the density of these particles is low enough, this electrically charged gas behaves differently than it would if it were neutral. Now this gas is called plasma. The atmospheric gas density becomes low enough to support the conditions for a plasma around earth at about 90 kilometers above Earth's surface. The electrons in plasma gain more energy, and they are very low in mass. They move along Earth's magnetic field lines and their increased energy is enough to escape Earth's gravity. Because electrons are very light, they don't have to gain too much kinetic energy from the Sun's ultraviolet light before gravity loses its grip on them. Gravity is not all that holds them back, however. As more and more electrons begin to escape outward, they leave behind a growing net positive electric charge in the ionosphere and create a growing net negative electric charge above the ionosphere; an electric field begins to develop (the Pannekoek-Rosseland E-field). Thus, these different interacting charges result in a positively charged ionosphere and negatively charged region of space above it. Very quickly this resulting electric field opposed upward movement of the electrons out of the ionosphere. The electrons still have this increased energy, however, so the electric field doesn't just

  1. Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) 1.0: A General Circulation Model for Simulating the Climates of Rocky Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Way, M. J.; Aleinov, I.; Amundsen, David S.; Chandler, M. A.; Clune, T. L.; Del Genio, A.; Fujii, Y.; Kelley, M.; Kiang, N. Y.; Sohl, L.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) is a three-dimensional General Circulation Model (GCM) developed at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies for the modeling of atmospheres of solar system and exoplanetary terrestrial planets. Its parent model, known as ModelE2, is used to simulate modern Earth and near-term paleo-Earth climates. ROCKE-3D is an ongoing effort to expand the capabilities of ModelE2 to handle a broader range of atmospheric conditions, including higher and lower atmospheric pressures, more diverse chemistries and compositions, larger and smaller planet radii and gravity, different rotation rates (from slower to more rapid than modern Earth's, including synchronous rotation), diverse ocean and land distributions and topographies, and potential basic biosphere functions. The first aim of ROCKE-3D is to model planetary atmospheres on terrestrial worlds within the solar system such as paleo-Earth, modern and paleo-Mars, paleo-Venus, and Saturn's moon Titan. By validating the model for a broad range of temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric constituents, we can then further expand its capabilities to those exoplanetary rocky worlds that have been discovered in the past, as well as those to be discovered in the future. We also discuss the current and near-future capabilities of ROCKE-3D as a community model for studying planetary and exoplanetary atmospheres.

  2. A TIDALLY DESTRUCTED MASSIVE PLANET AS THE PROGENITOR OF THE TWO LIGHT PLANETS AROUND THE sdB STAR KIC 05807616

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bear, Ealeal; Soker, Noam

    2012-01-01

    We propose that the two newly detected Earth-size planets around the hot B subdwarf star KIC 05807616 are remnant of the tidally destructed metallic core of a massive planet. A single massive gas-giant planet was spiralling-in inside the envelope of the red giant branch star progenitor of the extreme horizontal branch (EHB) star KIC 05807616. The released gravitational energy unbound most of the stellar envelope, turning it into an EHB star. The massive planet reached the tidal-destruction radius of ∼1 R ☉ from the core, where the planet's gaseous envelope was tidally removed. In our scenario, the metallic core of the massive planet was tidally destructed into several Earth-like bodies immediately after the gaseous envelope of the planet was removed. Two, and possibly more, Earth-size fragments survived at orbital separations of ∼> 1 R ☉ within the gaseous disk. The bodies interact with the disk and among themselves, and migrated to reach orbits close to a 3:2 resonance. These observed planets can have a planetary magnetic field about 10 times as strong as that of Earth. This strong magnetic field can substantially reduce the evaporation rate from the planets and explain their survivability against the strong UV radiation of the EHB star.

  3. Watching Earth from Space How Surveillance Helps Us -- and Harms Us

    CERN Document Server

    Norris, Pat

    2010-01-01

    - Are satellites a threat to individual privacy? - How bad is climate change and global warming? - Why can we not find Osama bin Laden? - Does the world have enough fresh water? Watching Earth from Space gives you the answers to these and many other burning questions of the day. This is the story of how our planet is being monitored by hundreds of space-borne instruments for both military and peaceful reasons. It highlights the technical challenges of those instruments and describes the agencies that gather useful information from them. But as well as all the essential monitoring performed by satellites - such as mapping natural or man-made disasters, agricultural performances, weather, and climate change to name a few - there is a growing swell of public opinion that they are being used by governments to erode personal privacy and freedom. This book looks at the possible conflict between public good and market forces, and the future development of new systems to deal with new needs.

  4. ISS EarthKam: Taking Photos of the Earth from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haste, Turtle

    2008-01-01

    NASA is involved in a project involving the International Space Station (ISS) and an Earth-focused camera called EarthKam, where schools, and ultimately students, are allowed to remotely program the EarthKAM to take images. Here the author describes how EarthKam was used to help middle school students learn about biomes and develop their…

  5. Climate of Earth-Like Planets With and Without Ocean Heat Transport Orbiting a Range of M and K Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiang, N. Y.; Jablonski, Emma R.; Way, Michael J.; Del Genio, Anthony; Roberge, Aki

    2015-01-01

    The mean surface temperature of a planet is now acknowledged as insufficient to surmise its full potential habitability. Advancing our understanding requires exploration with 3D general circulation models (GCMs), which can take into account how gradients and fluxes across a planet's surface influence the distribution of heat, clouds, and the potential for heterogeneous distribution of liquid water. Here we present 3D GCM simulations of the effects of alternative stellar spectra, instellation, model resolution, and ocean heat transport, on the simulated distribution of heat and moisture of an Earth-like planet (ELP).

  6. Planet Press: an EGU initiative to bring geoscientific research to children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Bárbara

    2016-04-01

    Planet Press (http://www.egu.eu/education/planet-press/) is an EGU educational project that aims to get children (mainly 7-13 year olds), as well as their parents and educators, interested in and engaged with up-to-date scientific research and news. Planet Press articles are short versions of EGU press releases written in child-friendly language. Because EGU press releases cover research published in the various EGU scientific journals, Planet Press focuses on topics as varied as air pollution, glaciers, climate change, earthquakes, ocean sciences, droughts and floods, or space sciences. The texts are reviewed by both scientists and educators to make sure they are accurate and clear to their target audience. By sharing new and exciting geoscientific research with young kids, we hope to inspire them to develop an interest in the Earth, planetary and space sciences. In this presentation, we describe how the Planet Press idea came about, how the project is run, and the challenges and lessons learnt since the launch of this educational initiative in 2014. Planet Press, which has the support of the EGU Committee on Education, is made possible by the work of volunteer scientists and educators who review and translate the texts. We are grateful for the help of Jane Robb, former EGU Educational Fellow, with launching the project. Planet Press is inspired by Space Scoop (http://www.spacescoop.org/), an initiative by UNAWE, the EU-Universe Awareness organisation, that brings astronomy news to children every week.

  7. THE HABITABLE ZONE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vladilo, Giovanni; Murante, Giuseppe; Silva, Laura [INAF-Trieste Astronomical Observatory, Trieste (Italy); Provenzale, Antonello [Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate-CNR, Torino (Italy); Ferri, Gaia; Ragazzini, Gregorio, E-mail: vladilo@oats.inaf.it [Department of Physics, University of Trieste, Trieste (Italy)

    2013-04-10

    As a contribution to the study of the habitability of extrasolar planets, we implemented a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM), the simplest seasonal model of planetary climate, with new prescriptions for most physical quantities. Here we apply our EBM to investigate the surface habitability of planets with an Earth-like atmospheric composition but different levels of surface pressure. The habitability, defined as the mean fraction of the planet's surface on which liquid water could exist, is estimated from the pressure-dependent liquid water temperature range, taking into account seasonal and latitudinal variations of surface temperature. By running several thousands of EBM simulations we generated a map of the habitable zone (HZ) in the plane of the orbital semi-major axis, a, and surface pressure, p, for planets in circular orbits around a Sun-like star. As pressure increases, the HZ becomes broader, with an increase of 0.25 AU in its radial extent from p = 1/3 to 3 bar. At low pressure, the habitability is low and varies with a; at high pressure, the habitability is high and relatively constant inside the HZ. We interpret these results in terms of the pressure dependence of the greenhouse effect, the efficiency of horizontal heat transport, and the extent of the liquid water temperature range. Within the limits discussed in the paper, the results can be extended to planets in eccentric orbits around non-solar-type stars. The main characteristics of the pressure-dependent HZ are modestly affected by variations of planetary properties, particularly at high pressure.

  8. THE HABITABLE ZONE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vladilo, Giovanni; Murante, Giuseppe; Silva, Laura; Provenzale, Antonello; Ferri, Gaia; Ragazzini, Gregorio

    2013-01-01

    As a contribution to the study of the habitability of extrasolar planets, we implemented a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM), the simplest seasonal model of planetary climate, with new prescriptions for most physical quantities. Here we apply our EBM to investigate the surface habitability of planets with an Earth-like atmospheric composition but different levels of surface pressure. The habitability, defined as the mean fraction of the planet's surface on which liquid water could exist, is estimated from the pressure-dependent liquid water temperature range, taking into account seasonal and latitudinal variations of surface temperature. By running several thousands of EBM simulations we generated a map of the habitable zone (HZ) in the plane of the orbital semi-major axis, a, and surface pressure, p, for planets in circular orbits around a Sun-like star. As pressure increases, the HZ becomes broader, with an increase of 0.25 AU in its radial extent from p = 1/3 to 3 bar. At low pressure, the habitability is low and varies with a; at high pressure, the habitability is high and relatively constant inside the HZ. We interpret these results in terms of the pressure dependence of the greenhouse effect, the efficiency of horizontal heat transport, and the extent of the liquid water temperature range. Within the limits discussed in the paper, the results can be extended to planets in eccentric orbits around non-solar-type stars. The main characteristics of the pressure-dependent HZ are modestly affected by variations of planetary properties, particularly at high pressure.

  9. Simulated JWST/NIRISS Transit Spectroscopy of Anticipated TESS Planets Compared to Select Discoveries from Space-Based and Ground-Based Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louie, Dana; Deming, Drake; Albert, Loic; Bouma, Luke; Bean, Jacob; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes

    2018-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will embark in 2018 on a 2-year wide-field survey mission of most of the celestial sky, discovering over a thousand super-Earth and sub-Neptune-sized exoplanets potentially suitable for follow-up observations using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Bouma et al. (2017) and Sullivan et al. (2015) used Monte Carlo simulations to predict the properties of the planetary systems that TESS is likely to detect, basing their simulations upon Kepler-derived planet occurrence rates and photometric performance models for the TESS cameras. We employed a JWST Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) simulation tool to estimate the signal-to-noise (S/N) that JWST/NIRISS will attain in transmission spectroscopy of these anticipated TESS discoveries, and we then compared the S/N for anticipated TESS discoveries to our estimates of S/N for 18 known exoplanets. We analyzed the sensitivity of our results to planetary composition, cloud cover, and presence of an observational noise floor. We find that only a few anticipated TESS discoveries in the terrestrial planet regime will result in better JWST/NIRISS S/N than currently known exoplanets, such as the TRAPPIST-1 planets, GJ1132b, or LHS1140b. However, we emphasize that this outcome is based upon Kepler-derived occurrence rates, and that co-planar compact systems (e.g. TRAPPIST-1) were not included in predicting the anticipated TESS planet yield. Furthermore, our results show that several hundred anticipated TESS discoveries in the super-Earth and sub-Neptune regime will produce S/N higher than currently known exoplanets such as K2-3b or K2-3c. We apply our results to estimate the scope of a JWST follow-up observation program devoted to mapping the transition region between high molecular weight and primordial planetary atmospheres.

  10. Histories of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benes, K.

    1981-01-01

    The uneven historical development of terrestrial planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon and Mars - is probably due to the differences in their size, weight and rotational dynamics in association with the internal planet structure, their distance from the Sun, etc. A systematic study of extraterrestrial planets showed that the time span of internal activity was not the same for all bodies. It is assumed that the initial history of all terrestrial planets was marked with catastrophic events connected with the overall dynamic development of the solar system. In view of the fact that the cores of small terrestrial bodies cooled quicker, their geological development almost stagnated after two or three thousand million years. This is what probably happened to the Mercury and the Moon as well as the Mars. Therefore, traces of previous catastrophic events were preserved on the surface of the planets. On the other hand, the Earth is the most metamorphosed terrestrial planet and compared to the other planets appears to be atypical. Its biosphere is significantly developed as well as the other shell components, its hydrosphere and atmosphere, and its crust is considerably differentiated. (J.P.)

  11. Titan the earth-like moon

    CERN Document Server

    Coustenis, Athena

    1999-01-01

    This is the first book to deal with Titan, one of the most mysterious bodies in the solar system. The largest satellite of the giant planet Saturn, Titan is itself larger than the planet Mercury, and is unique in being the only known moon with a thick atmosphere. In addition, its atmosphere bears a startling resemblance to the Earth's, but is much colder.The American and European space agencies, NASA and ESA, have recently combined efforts to send a huge robot spacecraft to orbit Saturn and land on Titan. This book provides the background to this, the greatest deep space venture of our time, a

  12. Sun-Earth Day Connects History, Culture and Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cline, T.; Thieman, J.

    2003-12-01

    The NASA Sun-Earth Connection Education forum annually promotes and event called Sun-Earth Day: a national celebration of the Sun, the space around the Earth (geospace), and how all of it affects life on our planet. For the past 3 years this event has provided a venue by which classrooms, museums, planetaria, and at NASA centers have had a sensational time sharing stories, images, and activities related to the Sun-Earth connections and the views o fthe Sun from Earth. Each year we select a different theme by which NASA Space Science can be further related to cross-curricular activities. Sun-Earth Day 2002, "Celebrate the Equinox", drew parallels between Native American Cultures and NASA's Sun-Earth Connection research via cultural stories, interviews, web links, activities and Native American participation. Sun-Earth Day 2003, "Live From the Aurora", shared the beauty of the Aurora through a variety of activities and stories related to perspectives of Northern Peoples. Sun-Earth Day 2004 will share the excitement of the transit of Venus through comparisons of Venus with Earth and Mars, calculations of the distances to nearby stars, and the use of transits to identify extra-solar planets. Finally, Sun-Earth Day 2005 will bring several of these themes together by turning our focus to the history and culture surrounding ancient observatories such as Chaco Canyon, Machu Picchu, and Chichen Itza.

  13. Our Place in Space: Exploring the Earth-Moon System and Beyond with NASA's CINDI E/PO Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urquhart, M. L.; Hairston, M. R.

    2010-12-01

    Where does space begin? How far is the Moon? How far is Mars? How does our dynamic star, the Sun, affect its family of planets? All of these questions relate to exploration of our Solar System, and are also part of the Education/Public Outreach (E/PO) Program for NASA’s CINDI project, a space weather mission of opportunity. The Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamics Investigation has been flying aboard the US Air Force Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite in the upper atmosphere of the Earth since April 2008. The Earth’s ionosphere, the part of the atmosphere CINDI studies, is also in space. The CINDI E/PO program uses this fact in lessons designed to help students in middle schools and introductory astronomy classes develop a sense of their place in space. In the activity "How High is Space?" students’ start by building an 8-page scale model of the Earth’s atmosphere with 100 km/page. The peak of Mount Everest, commercial airplanes, and the tops of thunderheads all appear at the bottom of the first page of the model, with astronaut altitude -where space begins- at the top of the same sheet of paper. In "Where Would CINDI Be?" the idea of scale is further developed by modeling the Earth-Moon system to scale first in size, then in distance, using half of standard containers of play dough. With a lowest altitude of about 400 km, similar to that of the International Space Station and orbiting Space Shuttle, CINDI is close to the Earth when compared with the nearly thousand times greater distance to the Moon. Comparing and combining the atmosphere and Earth-Moon system models help reinforce ideas of scale and build student understanding of how far away the Moon actually is. These scale models have also been adapted for use in Family Science Nights, and to include the planet Mars. In this presentation, we will show how we use CINDI’s scale modeling activities and others from our broader space sciences E/PO program in formal and informal

  14. Properties of an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star: Earth observed by the EPOXI mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livengood, Timothy A; Deming, L Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Meadows, Victoria S; Robinson, Tyler D; Seager, Sara; Wellnitz, Dennis D

    2011-11-01

    NASA's EPOXI mission observed the disc-integrated Earth and Moon to test techniques for reconnoitering extrasolar terrestrial planets, using the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to observe Earth at the beginning and end of Northern Hemisphere spring, 2008, from a range of ∼1/6 to 1/3 AU. These observations furnish high-precision and high-cadence empirical photometry and spectroscopy of Earth, suitable as "ground truth" for numerically simulating realistic observational scenarios for an Earth-like exoplanet with finite signal-to-noise ratio. Earth was observed at near-equatorial sub-spacecraft latitude on 18-19 March, 28-29 May, and 4-5 June (UT), in the range of 372-4540 nm wavelength with low visible resolving power (λ/Δλ=5-13) and moderate IR resolving power (λ/Δλ=215-730). Spectrophotometry in seven filters yields light curves at ∼372-948 nm filter-averaged wavelength, modulated by Earth's rotation with peak-to-peak amplitude of ≤20%. The spatially resolved Sun glint is a minor contributor to disc-integrated reflectance. Spectroscopy at 1100-4540 nm reveals gaseous water and carbon dioxide, with minor features of molecular oxygen, methane, and nitrous oxide. One-day changes in global cloud cover resulted in differences between the light curve beginning and end of ≤5%. The light curve of a lunar transit of Earth on 29 May is color-dependent due to the Moon's red spectrum partially occulting Earth's relatively blue spectrum. The "vegetation red edge" spectral contrast observed between two long-wavelength visible/near-IR bands is ambiguous, not clearly distinguishing between the verdant Earth diluted by cloud cover versus the desolate mineral regolith of the Moon. Spectrophotometry in at least one other comparison band at short wavelength is required to distinguish between Earth-like and Moon-like surfaces in reconnaissance observations. However, measurements at 850 nm alone, the high-reflectance side of the red edge, could be sufficient to

  15. Rocky Planet Formation: Quick and Neat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Scott J.; Najita, Joan R.; Bromley, Benjamin C.

    2016-11-01

    We reconsider the commonly held assumption that warm debris disks are tracers of terrestrial planet formation. The high occurrence rate inferred for Earth-mass planets around mature solar-type stars based on exoplanet surveys (˜20%) stands in stark contrast to the low incidence rate (≤2%-3%) of warm dusty debris around solar-type stars during the expected epoch of terrestrial planet assembly (˜10 Myr). If Earth-mass planets at au distances are a common outcome of the planet formation process, this discrepancy suggests that rocky planet formation occurs more quickly and/or is much neater than traditionally believed, leaving behind little in the way of a dust signature. Alternatively, the incidence rate of terrestrial planets has been overestimated, or some previously unrecognized physical mechanism removes warm dust efficiently from the terrestrial planet region. A promising removal mechanism is gas drag in a residual gaseous disk with a surface density ≳10-5 of the minimum-mass solar nebula.

  16. Possible Outcomes of Coplanar High-eccentricity Migration: Hot Jupiters, Close-in Super-Earths, and Counter-orbiting Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xue, Yuxin; Masuda, Kento; Suto, Yasushi, E-mail: yuxin@utap.phys.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Department of Physics, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan)

    2017-02-01

    We investigate the formation of close-in planets in near-coplanar eccentric hierarchical triple systems via the secular interaction between an inner planet and an outer perturber (Coplanar High-eccentricity Migration; CHEM). We generalize the previous work on the analytical condition for successful CHEM for point masses interacting only through gravity by taking into account the finite mass effect of the inner planet. We find that efficient CHEM requires that the systems should have m {sub 1}≪m {sub 0} and m {sub 1} ≪ m {sub 2}. In addition to the gravity for point masses, we examine the importance of the short-range forces, and provide an analytical estimate of the migration timescale. We perform a series of numerical simulations in CHEM for systems consisting of a Sun-like central star, giant gas inner planet, and planetary outer perturber, including the short-range forces and stellar and planetary dissipative tides. We find that most of such systems end up with a tidal disruption; a small fraction of the systems produce prograde hot Jupiters (HJs), but no retrograde HJ. In addition, we extend CHEM to super-Earth mass range, and show that the formation of close-in super-Earths in prograde orbits is also possible. Finally, we carry out CHEM simulation for the observed hierarchical triple and counter-orbiting HJ systems. We find that CHEM can explain a part of the former systems, but it is generally very difficult to reproduce counter-orbiting HJ systems.

  17. On the effects of the evolution of microbial mats and land plants on the Earth as a planet. Photometric and spectroscopic light curves of paleo-Earths

    OpenAIRE

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.; García-Muñoz, A.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the spectral and photometric variability of the Earth and the rest of the solar system planets has become of the utmost importance for the future characterization of rocky exoplanets. As this is not only interesting at present times but also along the planetary evolution, we studied the effect that the evolution of microbial mats and plants over land has had on the way our planet looks from afar. As life evolved, continental surfaces changed gradually and non- uniformly from des...

  18. Earth Stewardship: An initiative by the Ecological Society of America to foster engagement to sustain Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapin, F. Stuart; Pickett, S.T.A.; Power, Mary E.; Collins, Scott L.; Baron, Jill S.; Inouye, David W.; Turner, Monica G.

    2017-01-01

    The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has responded to the growing commitment among ecologists to make their science relevant to society through a series of concerted efforts, including the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative (1991), scientific assessment of ecosystem management (1996), ESA’s vision for the future (2003), Rapid Response Teams that respond to environmental crises (2005), and the Earth Stewardship Initiative (2009). During the past 25 years, ESA launched five new journals, largely reflecting the expansion of scholarship linking ecology with broader societal issues. The goal of the Earth Stewardship Initiative is to raise awareness and to explore ways for ecologists and other scientists to contribute more effectively to the sustainability of our planet. This has occurred through four approaches: (1) articulation of the stewardship concept in ESA publications and Website, (2) selection of meeting themes and symposia, (3) engagement of ESA sections in implementing the initiative, and (4) outreach beyond ecology through collaborations and demonstration projects. Collaborations include societies and groups of Earth and social scientists, practitioners and policy makers, religious and business leaders, federal agencies, and artists and writers. The Earth Stewardship Initiative is a work in progress, so next steps likely include continued nurturing of these emerging collaborations, advancing the development of sustainability and stewardship theory, improving communication of stewardship science, and identifying opportunities for scientists and civil society to take actions that move the Earth toward a more sustainable trajectory.

  19. MODEL SPECTRA OF THE FIRST POTENTIALLY HABITABLE SUPER-EARTH-Gl581d

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Segura, AntIgona; Mohanty, Subhanjoy

    2011-01-01

    Gl581d has a minimum mass of 7 M Earth and is the first detected potentially habitable rocky Super-Earth. Our models confirm that a habitable atmosphere can exist on Gl581d. We derive spectroscopic features for atmospheres assuming an Earth-like composition for this planet, from high-oxygen atmosphere analogous to Earth's to high-CO 2 atmospheres with and without biotic oxygen concentrations. We find that a minimum CO 2 partial pressure of about 7 bar, in an atmosphere with a total surface pressure of 7.6 bar, is needed to maintain a mean surface temperature above freezing on Gl581d. We model transmission and emergent synthetic spectra from 0.4 μm to 40 μm and show where indicators of biological activities in such a planet's atmosphere could be observed by future ground- and space-based telescopes. The model we present here only represents one possible nature-an Earth-like composition-of a planet like Gl581d in a wide parameter space. Future observations of atmospheric features can be used to examine if our concept of habitability and its dependence on the carbonate-silicate cycle is correct, and assess whether Gl581d is indeed a habitable Super-Earth.

  20. Space and Earth Science Data Compression Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilton, James C. (Editor)

    1991-01-01

    The workshop explored opportunities for data compression to enhance the collection and analysis of space and Earth science data. The focus was on scientists' data requirements, as well as constraints imposed by the data collection, transmission, distribution, and archival systems. The workshop consisted of several invited papers; two described information systems for space and Earth science data, four depicted analysis scenarios for extracting information of scientific interest from data collected by Earth orbiting and deep space platforms, and a final one was a general tutorial on image data compression.

  1. KEPLER-68: THREE PLANETS, ONE WITH A DENSITY BETWEEN THAT OF EARTH AND ICE GIANTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gilliland, Ronald L. [Department of Astronomy, and Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Rowe, Jason F.; Henze, Christopher E.; Lissauer, Jack J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Rogers, Leslie [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Torres, Guillermo; Fressin, Francois; Desert, Jean-Michel [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Lopez, Eric D. [University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A. [Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University (Denmark); Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jorgen; Handberg, Rasmus [Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Jenkins, Jon M. [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Chaplin, William J.; Elsworth, Yvonne [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Basu, Sarbani [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, 260 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Metcalfe, Travis S. [White Dwarf Research Corporation, Boulder, CO 80301 (United States); Hekker, Saskia, E-mail: gillil@stsci.edu [Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek, University of Amsterdam, 1098 XH Amsterdam, Science Park 904 (Netherlands); and others

    2013-03-20

    NASA's Kepler Mission has revealed two transiting planets orbiting Kepler-68. Follow-up Doppler measurements have established the mass of the innermost planet and revealed a third Jovian-mass planet orbiting beyond the two transiting planets. Kepler-68b, in a 5.4 day orbit, has M{sub P}=8.3{sup +2.2}{sub -2.4} M{sub Circled-Plus }, R{sub P}=2.31{sup +0.06}{sub -0.09} R{sub Circled-Plus }, and {rho}{sub P}=3.32{sup +0.86}{sub -0.98} g cm{sup -3}, giving Kepler-68b a density intermediate between that of the ice giants and Earth. Kepler-68c is Earth-sized, with a radius R{sub P}=0.953{sup +0.037}{sub -0.042} R{sub Circled-Plus} and transits on a 9.6 day orbit; validation of Kepler-68c posed unique challenges. Kepler-68d has an orbital period of 580 {+-} 15 days and a minimum mass of M{sub P}sin i = 0.947 {+-} 0.035M{sub J} . Power spectra of the Kepler photometry at one minute cadence exhibit a rich and strong set of asteroseismic pulsation modes enabling detailed analysis of the stellar interior. Spectroscopy of the star coupled with asteroseismic modeling of the multiple pulsation modes yield precise measurements of stellar properties, notably T{sub eff} = 5793 {+-} 74 K, M{sub *} = 1.079 {+-} 0.051 M{sub Sun }, R{sub *} = 1.243 {+-} 0.019 R{sub Sun }, and {rho}{sub *} = 0.7903 {+-} 0.0054 g cm{sup -3}, all measured with fractional uncertainties of only a few percent. Models of Kepler-68b suggest that it is likely composed of rock and water, or has a H and He envelope to yield its density {approx}3 g cm{sup -3}.

  2. Placing outer space an earthly ethnography of other worlds

    CERN Document Server

    Messeri, Lisa

    2016-01-01

    Lisa Messeri traces how planetary scientists-whether working in the Utah desert, a Chilean observatory, or the labs of MIT-transform celestial bodies into places in order to understand the universe as densely inhabited by planets, in turn telling us more about Earth, ourselves, and our place in the cosmos.

  3. A Direct Path to Finding Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heap, Sara R.; Linder, Don J.

    2009-01-01

    As envisaged by the 2000 astrophysics decadal survey panel: The main goal of Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is nothing less than to search for evidence of life on terrestrial planets around nearby stars . Here, we consider how an optical telescope paired with a free-flying occulter blocking light from the star can reach this goal directly, without knowledge of results from prior astrometric, doppler, or transit exoplanet observations. Using design reference missions and other simulations, we explore the potential of TPF-O to find planets in the habitable zone around their central stars, to spectrally characterize the atmospheres of detected planets, and to obtain rudimentary information about their orbits. We emphasize the importance of ozone absorption in the UV spectrum of a planet as a marker of photosynthesis by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.

  4. SeaWiFS Technical Report Series. Volume 42; Satellite Primary Productivity Data and Algorithm Development: A Science Plan for Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkowski, Paul G.; Behrenfeld, Michael J.; Esaias, Wayne E.; Balch, William; Campbell, Janet W.; Iverson, Richard L.; Kiefer, Dale A.; Morel, Andre; Yoder, James A.; Hooker, Stanford B. (Editor); hide

    1998-01-01

    Two issues regarding primary productivity, as it pertains to the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) Program and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) are presented in this volume. Chapter 1 describes the development of a science plan for deriving primary production for the world ocean using satellite measurements, by the Ocean Primary Productivity Working Group (OPPWG). Chapter 2 presents discussions by the same group, of algorithm classification, algorithm parameterization and data availability, algorithm testing and validation, and the benefits of a consensus primary productivity algorithm.

  5. TRANSIT SURVEYS FOR EARTHS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agol, Eric

    2011-01-01

    To date the search for habitable Earth-like planets has primarily focused on nuclear burning stars. I propose that this search should be expanded to cool white dwarf stars that have expended their nuclear fuel. I define the continuously habitable zone of white dwarfs and show that it extends from ∼0.005 to 0.02 AU for white dwarfs with masses from 0.4 to 0.9 M sun , temperatures less than ∼10 4 K, and habitable durations of at least 3 Gyr. As they are similar in size to Earth, white dwarfs may be deeply eclipsed by terrestrial planets that orbit edge-on, which can easily be detected with ground-based telescopes. If planets can migrate inward or reform near white dwarfs, I show that a global robotic telescope network could carry out a transit survey of nearby white dwarfs placing interesting constraints on the presence of habitable Earths. If planets were detected, I show that the survey would favor detection of planets similar to Earth: similar size, temperature, and rotation period, and host star temperatures similar to the Sun. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope could place even tighter constraints on the frequency of habitable Earths around white dwarfs. The confirmation and characterization of these planets might be carried out with large ground and space telescopes.

  6. Habitable Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen H

    2007-01-01

    ..., and discusses how to search for habitable planets. Interestingly for our time, he also gives an appraisal of the earth as a planet and describes how its habitability would be changed if some of its basic properties were altered...

  7. Carbon trading, climate change, environmental sustainability and saving planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yim, W. W.

    2009-12-01

    Carbon trading namely the reduction of future carbon dioxide levels has been widely touted as a solution needed to counter the problem of climate change. However, there are enormous risks involved as the measure tackles only one of the causes of climate change and may prove to be ineffective. This presentation highlights ten points relevant to the discussion on carbon trading, climate change, environmental sustainability and saving planet Earth for increasing public awareness. They include: (1) Climate has changed throughout Earth’s history. (2) The present level of about 388 parts per million level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has already exceeded the maximum level of the past 800,000 years. This value is obtained from air bubbles trapped within the ice in Antarctica but the consequence of further increases remains uncertain. (3) Earth scientists do not have an overwhelming consensus on whether carbon trading alone is an effective measure in mitigating climate change. (4) The present state of the Earth’s demise is largely the result of human actions including population growth and the mismanagement of the Earth. (5) The latest evidence on sea-level changes in the South China Sea a far-field region unaffected by glacial isostatic readjustment is not in support of a ‘rapid’ rate of future sea-level rise through global warming. (6) Volcanic eruptions have an important role in driving the Earth’s climate. Examples of temperature lowering as well as abnormally wet and dry years can both be found in the instrumental record. (7) Humans have drastically modified the ‘natural’ water cycle. This is however not a well recognized cause of climate change compared to the emission of greenhouse gases through fossil fuel consumption. (8) The bulk (~75%) of the rise in mean annual temperature of about 1oC observed at the Hong Kong Observatory Station since record began in 1884 is best explained by the thermal heat island effect. (9) No evidence has been found

  8. Extreme Water Loss and Abiotic O2 Buildup on Planets Throughout the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We show that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs older than ∼1 Gyr could have been in runaway greenhouses for several hundred million years following their formation due to the star's extended pre-main sequence phase, provided they form with abundant surface water. Such prolonged runaway greenhouses can lead to planetary evolution divergent from that of Earth. During this early runaway phase, photolysis of water vapor and hydrogen/oxygen escape to space can lead to the loss of several Earth oceans of water from planets throughout the habitable zone, regardless of whether the escape is energy-limited or diffusion-limited. We find that the amount of water lost scales with the planet mass, since the diffusion-limited hydrogen escape flux is proportional to the planet surface gravity. In addition to undergoing potential desiccation, planets with inefficient oxygen sinks at the surface may build up hundreds to thousands of bar of abiotically produced O2, resulting in potential false positives for life. The amount of O2 that builds up also scales with the planet mass; we find that O2 builds up at a constant rate that is controlled by diffusion: ∼5 bar/Myr on Earth-mass planets and up to ∼25 bar/Myr on super-Earths. As a result, some recently discovered super-Earths in the habitable zone such as GJ 667Cc could have built up as many as 2000 bar of O2 due to the loss of up to 10 Earth oceans of water. The fate of a given planet strongly depends on the extreme ultraviolet flux, the duration of the runaway regime, the initial water content, and the rate at which oxygen is absorbed by the surface. In general, we find that the initial phase of high luminosity may compromise the habitability of many terrestrial planets orbiting low-mass stars. Key Words: Astrobiology—Biosignatures—Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Habitability—Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 15, 119–143. PMID:25629240

  9. Extreme water loss and abiotic O2 buildup on planets throughout the habitable zones of M dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luger, R; Barnes, R

    2015-02-01

    We show that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs older than ∼1 Gyr could have been in runaway greenhouses for several hundred million years following their formation due to the star's extended pre-main sequence phase, provided they form with abundant surface water. Such prolonged runaway greenhouses can lead to planetary evolution divergent from that of Earth. During this early runaway phase, photolysis of water vapor and hydrogen/oxygen escape to space can lead to the loss of several Earth oceans of water from planets throughout the habitable zone, regardless of whether the escape is energy-limited or diffusion-limited. We find that the amount of water lost scales with the planet mass, since the diffusion-limited hydrogen escape flux is proportional to the planet surface gravity. In addition to undergoing potential desiccation, planets with inefficient oxygen sinks at the surface may build up hundreds to thousands of bar of abiotically produced O2, resulting in potential false positives for life. The amount of O2 that builds up also scales with the planet mass; we find that O2 builds up at a constant rate that is controlled by diffusion: ∼5 bar/Myr on Earth-mass planets and up to ∼25 bar/Myr on super-Earths. As a result, some recently discovered super-Earths in the habitable zone such as GJ 667Cc could have built up as many as 2000 bar of O2 due to the loss of up to 10 Earth oceans of water. The fate of a given planet strongly depends on the extreme ultraviolet flux, the duration of the runaway regime, the initial water content, and the rate at which oxygen is absorbed by the surface. In general, we find that the initial phase of high luminosity may compromise the habitability of many terrestrial planets orbiting low-mass stars.

  10. The fate of scattered planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bromley, Benjamin C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 S 1400 E, Rm 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Kenyon, Scott J., E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2014-12-01

    As gas giant planets evolve, they may scatter other planets far from their original orbits to produce hot Jupiters or rogue planets that are not gravitationally bound to any star. Here, we consider planets cast out to large orbital distances on eccentric, bound orbits through a gaseous disk. With simple numerical models, we show that super-Earths can interact with the gas through dynamical friction to settle in the remote outer regions of a planetary system. Outcomes depend on planet mass, the initial scattered orbit, and the evolution of the time-dependent disk. Efficient orbital damping by dynamical friction requires planets at least as massive as the Earth. More massive, longer-lived disks damp eccentricities more efficiently than less massive, short-lived ones. Transition disks with an expanding inner cavity can circularize orbits at larger distances than disks that experience a global (homologous) decay in surface density. Thus, orbits of remote planets may reveal the evolutionary history of their primordial gas disks. A remote planet with an orbital distance ∼100 AU from the Sun is plausible and might explain correlations in the orbital parameters of several distant trans-Neptunian objects.

  11. ON THE NOTION OF WELL-DEFINED TECTONIC REGIMES FOR TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN THIS SOLAR SYSTEM AND OTHERS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lenardic, A.; Crowley, J. W.

    2012-01-01

    A model of coupled mantle convection and planetary tectonics is used to demonstrate that history dependence can outweigh the effects of a planet's energy content and material parameters in determining its tectonic state. The mantle convection-surface tectonics system allows multiple tectonic modes to exist for equivalent planetary parameter values. The tectonic mode of the system is then determined by its specific geologic and climatic history. This implies that models of tectonics and mantle convection will not be able to uniquely determine the tectonic mode of a terrestrial planet without the addition of historical data. Historical data exists, to variable degrees, for all four terrestrial planets within our solar system. For the Earth, the planet with the largest amount of observational data, debate does still remain regarding the geologic and climatic history of Earth's deep past but constraints are available. For planets in other solar systems, no such constraints exist at present. The existence of multiple tectonic modes, for equivalent parameter values, points to a reason why different groups have reached different conclusions regarding the tectonic state of extrasolar terrestrial planets larger than Earth ( s uper-Earths ) . The region of multiple stable solutions is predicted to widen in parameter space for more energetic mantle convection (as would be expected for larger planets). This means that different groups can find different solutions, all potentially viable and stable, using identical models and identical system parameter values. At a more practical level, the results argue that the question of whether extrasolar terrestrial planets will have plate tectonics is unanswerable and will remain so until the temporal evolution of extrasolar planets can be constrained.

  12. Transit confirmation and improved stellar and planet parameters for the super-Earth HD 97658 b and its host star

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Grootel, V.; Gillon, M.; Scuflaire, R. [Institut d' Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, 17 Allée du 6 Août, B-4000 Liège (Belgium); Valencia, D. [Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON, M1C 1A4 (Canada); Madhusudhan, N.; Demory, B.-O.; Queloz, D. [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom); Dragomir, D. [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, 6740 Cortona Dr. Suite 102, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Howe, A. R.; Burrows, A. S. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Deming, D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States); Ehrenreich, D.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S. [Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 Chemin des Maillettes, CH-1290 Sauverny (Switzerland); Seager, S., E-mail: valerie.vangrootel@ulg.ac.be [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2014-05-01

    Super-Earths transiting nearby bright stars are key objects that simultaneously allow for accurate measurements of both their mass and radius, providing essential constraints on their internal composition. We present here the confirmation, based on Spitzer transit observations, that the super-Earth HD 97658 b transits its host star. HD 97658 is a low-mass (M {sub *} = 0.77 ± 0.05 M {sub ☉}) K1 dwarf, as determined from the Hipparcos parallax and stellar evolution modeling. To constrain the planet parameters, we carry out Bayesian global analyses of Keck-High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (Keck-HIRES) radial velocities and Microvariability and Oscillations of STars (MOST) and Spitzer photometry. HD 97658 b is a massive (M{sub P}=7.55{sub −0.79}{sup +0.83} M{sub ⊕}) and large (R{sub P}=2.247{sub −0.095}{sup +0.098}R{sub ⊕} at 4.5 μm) super-Earth. We investigate the possible internal compositions for HD 97658 b. Our results indicate a large rocky component, of at least 60% by mass, and very little H-He components, at most 2% by mass. We also discuss how future asteroseismic observations can improve the knowledge of the HD 97658 system, in particular by constraining its age. Orbiting a bright host star, HD 97658 b will be a key target for upcoming space missions such as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), the Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite (CHEOPS), the Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO), and the James Webb Space Telescope to characterize thoroughly its structure and atmosphere.

  13. The road to Earth twins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, M.; Lovis, C.; Pepe, F.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.

    2011-06-01

    A rich population of low-mass planets orbiting solar-type stars on tight orbits has been detected by Doppler spectroscopy. These planets have masses in the domain of super-Earths and Neptune-type objects, and periods less than 100 days. In numerous cases these planets are part of very compact multiplanetary systems. Up to seven planets have been discovered orbiting one single star. These low-mass planets have been detected by the HARPS spectrograph around 30% of solar-type stars. This very high occurrence rate has been recently confirmed by the results of the Kepler planetary transit space mission. The large number of planets of this kind allows us to attempt a first characterization of their statistical properties, which in turn represent constraints to understand the formation process of these systems. The achieved progress in the sensitivity and stability of spectrographs have already led to the discovery of planets with masses as small as 1.5 M⊕. Karl Schwarzschild Award Lecture 2010

  14. Space exercise and Earth benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macias, Brandon R; Groppo, Eli R; Eastlack, Robert K; Watenpaugh, Donald E; Lee, Stuart M C; Schneider, Suzanne M; Boda, Wanda L; Smith, Scott M; Cutuk, Adnan; Pedowitz, Robert A; Meyer, R Scott; Hargens, Alan R

    2005-08-01

    The detrimental impact of long duration space flight on physiological systems necessitates the development of exercise countermeasures to protect work capabilities in gravity fields of Earth, Moon and Mars. The respective rates of physiological deconditioning for different organ systems during space flight has been described as a result of data collected during and after missions on the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Mir, and bed rest studies on Earth. An integrated countermeasure that simulates the body's hydrostatic pressure gradient, provides mechanical stress to the bones and muscles, and stimulates the neurovestibular system may be critical for maintaining health and well being of crew during long-duration space travel, such as a mission to Mars. Here we review the results of our studies to date of an integrated exercise countermeasure for space flight, lower body negative pressure (LBNP) treadmill exercise, and potential benefits of its application to athletic training on Earth. Additionally, we review the benefits of Lower Body Positive Pressure (LBPP) exercise for rehabilitation of postoperative patients. Presented first are preliminary data from a 30-day bed rest study evaluating the efficacy of LBNP exercise as an integrated exercise countermeasure for the deconditioning effects of microgravity. Next, we review upright LBNP exercise as a training modality for athletes by evaluating effects on the cardiovascular system and gait mechanics. Finally, LBPP exercise as a rehabilitation device is examined with reference to gait mechanics and safety in two groups of postoperative patients.

  15. CANDIDATE PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF KEPLER STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaidos, Eric

    2013-01-01

    A key goal of the Kepler mission is the discovery of Earth-size transiting planets in ''habitable zones'' where stellar irradiance maintains a temperate climate on an Earth-like planet. Robust estimates of planet radius and irradiance require accurate stellar parameters, but most Kepler systems are faint, making spectroscopy difficult and prioritization of targets desirable. The parameters of 2035 host stars were estimated by Bayesian analysis and the probabilities p HZ that 2738 candidate or confirmed planets orbit in the habitable zone were calculated. Dartmouth Stellar Evolution Program models were compared to photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog, priors for stellar mass, age, metallicity and distance, and planet transit duration. The analysis yielded probability density functions for calculating confidence intervals of planet radius and stellar irradiance, as well as p HZ . Sixty-two planets have p HZ > 0.5 and a most probable stellar irradiance within habitable zone limits. Fourteen of these have radii less than twice the Earth; the objects most resembling Earth in terms of radius and irradiance are KOIs 2626.01 and 3010.01, which orbit late K/M-type dwarf stars. The fraction of Kepler dwarf stars with Earth-size planets in the habitable zone (η ⊕ ) is 0.46, with a 95% confidence interval of 0.31-0.64. Parallaxes from the Gaia mission will reduce uncertainties by more than a factor of five and permit definitive assignments of transiting planets to the habitable zones of Kepler stars.

  16. Identifying Exoplanets with Deep Learning: A Five-planet Resonant Chain around Kepler-80 and an Eighth Planet around Kepler-90

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shallue, Christopher J.; Vanderburg, Andrew

    2018-02-01

    NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets orbiting Sun-like stars, but these planets are on the very edge of the mission’s detection sensitivity. Accurately determining the occurrence rate of these planets will require automatically and accurately assessing the likelihood that individual candidates are indeed planets, even at low signal-to-noise ratios. We present a method for classifying potential planet signals using deep learning, a class of machine learning algorithms that have recently become state-of-the-art in a wide variety of tasks. We train a deep convolutional neural network to predict whether a given signal is a transiting exoplanet or a false positive caused by astrophysical or instrumental phenomena. Our model is highly effective at ranking individual candidates by the likelihood that they are indeed planets: 98.8% of the time it ranks plausible planet signals higher than false-positive signals in our test set. We apply our model to a new set of candidate signals that we identified in a search of known Kepler multi-planet systems. We statistically validate two new planets that are identified with high confidence by our model. One of these planets is part of a five-planet resonant chain around Kepler-80, with an orbital period closely matching the prediction by three-body Laplace relations. The other planet orbits Kepler-90, a star that was previously known to host seven transiting planets. Our discovery of an eighth planet brings Kepler-90 into a tie with our Sun as the star known to host the most planets.

  17. Spectral and polarimetric characterization of gazeous and telluric planets with SEE COAST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boccaletti, A.; Baudoz, P.; Mawet, D.; Schneider, J.; Tinetti, G.; Galicher, R.; Stam, D.; Cavarroc, C.; Hough, J.; Doel, P.; Pinfield, D.; Keller, C.-U.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Udry, S.; Ferrari, A.; Martin, E.; Ménard, F.; Sein, E.

    2011-07-01

    SEE COAST stands for Super Earth Explorer - Coronagraphic Off-Axis Space Telescope. The concept was initially proposed to ESA for Cosmic Vision. None of the direct detection exoplanet proposals were selected in 2007 and we are now pursuing our efforts to consolidate the astrophysical program and the technical developments for the next call for proposal. The prime objective of SEE COAST is to contribute to the understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems. Exploring the diversity of these objects is therefore the main driver to define the instrumentation. In the next decade the improvement of radial velocity instruments and obviously temporal coverage will provide us with a large numbers of long period giants as well as telluric planets, namely Super Earths. Obtaining the spectral and polarimetric signatures of these objects in the visible range to measure atmospheric parameters (molecular composition, clouds, soils, …) will be unique and with important scientific returns. A space mission complementary to near IR instruments like SPHERE, GPI, JWST and later ELTs for the full characterization of giants and Super Earths is a first secure step towards the longer term goal that is the characterization of telluric planets with mass and atmosphere comparable to that of the Earth. An overview of the astrophysical motivation and the trade-off that lead to a simple integrated concept of a space-based high contrast imaging instrument are given here.

  18. Detecting tree-like multicellular life on extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doughty, Christopher E; Wolf, Adam

    2010-11-01

    Over the next two decades, NASA and ESA are planning a series of space-based observatories to find Earth-like planets and determine whether life exists on these planets. Previous studies have assessed the likelihood of detecting life through signs of biogenic gases in the atmosphere or a red edge. Biogenic gases and the red edge could be signs of either single-celled or multicellular life. In this study, we propose a technique with which to determine whether tree-like multicellular life exists on extrasolar planets. For multicellular photosynthetic organisms on Earth, competition for light and the need to transport water and nutrients has led to a tree-like body plan characterized by hierarchical branching networks. This design results in a distinct bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) that causes differing reflectance at different sun/view geometries. BRDF arises from the changing visibility of the shadows cast by objects, and the presence of tree-like structures is clearly distinguishable from flat ground with the same reflectance spectrum. We examined whether the BRDF could detect the existence of tree-like structures on an extrasolar planet by using changes in planetary albedo as a planet orbits its star. We used a semi-empirical BRDF model to simulate vegetation reflectance at different planetary phase angles and both simulated and real cloud cover to calculate disk and rotation-averaged planetary albedo for a vegetated and non-vegetated planet with abundant liquid water. We found that even if the entire planetary albedo were rendered to a single pixel, the rate of increase of albedo as a planet approaches full illumination would be comparatively greater on a vegetated planet than on a non-vegetated planet. Depending on how accurately planetary cloud cover can be resolved and the capabilities of the coronagraph to resolve exoplanets, this technique could theoretically detect tree-like multicellular life on exoplanets in 50 stellar systems.

  19. Other Earths: Search for Life and the Constant Curvature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khoshyaran M. M.

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this paper is to propose a search methodology for finding other exactly similar earth like planets (or sister earths. The theory is based on space consisting of Riemann curves or highways. A mathematical model based on constant curvature, a moving frame bundle, and gravitational dynamics is introduced.

  20. Extrasolar Planets Observed with JWST and the ELTs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, L. Drake

    2010-01-01

    The advent of cryogenic space-borne infrared observatories such as the Spitzer Space Telescope has lead to a revolution in the study of planets and planetary systems orbiting sun-like stars. Already Spitzer has characterized the emergent infrared spectra of close-in giant exoplanets using transit and eclipse techniques. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to extend these studies to superEarth exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zones of M-dwarf stars in the near solar neighborhood. The forthcoming ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) will playa key role in these studies, being especially valuable for spectroscopy at higher spectral resolving powers where large photon fluxes are needed. The culmination of this work within the next two decades will be the detection and spectral characterization of the major molecular constituents in the atmosphere of a habitable superEarth orbiting a nearby lower main sequence star.

  1. Global Reach: A View of International Cooperation in NASA's Earth Science Enterprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Improving life on Earth and understanding and protecting our home planet are foremost in the Vision and Mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA's Earth Science Enterprise end eavors to use the unique vantage point of space to study the Earth sy stem and improve the prediction of Earth system change. NASA and its international partners study Earth's land, atmosphere, ice, oceans, a nd biota and seek to provide objective scientific knowledge to decisi onmakers and scientists worldwide. This book describes NASA's extensi ve cooperation with its international partners.

  2. MIGRATION THEN ASSEMBLY: FORMATION OF NEPTUNE-MASS PLANETS INSIDE 1 AU

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, Brad M. S.; Murray, Norm

    2012-01-01

    We demonstrate that the observed distribution of 'hot Neptune'/'super-Earth' systems is well reproduced by a model in which planet assembly occurs in situ, with no significant migration post-assembly. This is achieved only if the amount of mass in rocky material is ∼50-100 M ⊕ interior to 1 AU. Such a reservoir of material implies that significant radial migration of solid material takes place, and that it occurs before the stage of final planet assembly. The model not only reproduces the general distribution of mass versus period but also the detailed statistics of multiple planet systems in the sample. We furthermore demonstrate that cores of this size are also likely to meet the criterion to gravitationally capture gas from the nebula, although accretion is rapidly limited by the opening of gaps in the gas disk. If the mass growth is limited by this tidal truncation, then the scenario sketched here naturally produces Neptune-mass objects with substantial components of both rock and gas, as is observed. The quantitative expectations of this scenario are that most planets in the 'hot Neptune/super-Earth' class inhabit multiple-planet systems, with characteristic orbital spacings. The model also provides a natural division into gas-rich (hot Neptune) and gas-poor (super-Earth) classes at fixed period. The dividing mass ranges from ∼3 M ⊕ at 10 day orbital periods to ∼10 M ⊕ at 100 day orbital periods. For orbital periods <10 days, the division is less clear because a gas atmosphere may be significantly eroded by stellar radiation.

  3. Spaceship Earth: A partnership in curriculum writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn M.

    1993-01-01

    As the Apollo astronauts left Earth to venture onto the surface of another planetary body, they saw their home planet in a new global perspective. Unmanned NASA missions have given us a closer look at all the other planets in our solar system and emphasized the uniqueness of Earth as the only place in our solar system that can sustain life as we know it. Spaceship Earth is a new science curriculum which was developed to help students and teachers to explore the Earth, to see it in the global perspective, and to understand the relationships among life, the planet, and the sun. Astronaut photographs, especially shuttle pictures, are used as groundbased studies to help students to understand global Earth Science and integrate various aspects of physical, life, and social science. The Spaceship Earth curriculum was developed at by a team of JSC scientists working in collaboration with teachers from local school districts. This project was done under the auspices of Partner-In-Space, a local non-profit organization dedicated to improving science education and our general knowledge of space. The team met once a month for a year then assembled the curriculum during the summer. The project is now in the testing stage as the teachers try it out in their classrooms. It was supported by the Texas Education Agency and will be offered by the State of Texas as a supplemental curriculum for statewide use. Because the curriculum was developed by teachers, it is self contained and the lessons are easy to implement and give students concrete experiences. The three sub-units follow in a logical order, but may be used independently. If they are used separately, they may be tied together by the teacher returning to the basic theme of the global Earth as each unit is completed.

  4. Atmospheric Circulations of Rocky Planets as Heat Engines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koll, D. D. B.

    2017-12-01

    Rocky planets are extremely common in the galaxy and include Earth, Mars, Venus, and hundreds of exoplanets. To understand and compare the climates of these planets, we need theories that are general enough to accommodate drastically different atmospheric and planetary properties. Unfortunately, few such theories currently exist.For Earth, there is a well-known principle that its atmosphere resembles a heat engine - the atmosphere absorbs heat near the surface, at a hot temperature, and emits heat to space in the upper troposphere, at a cold temperature, which allows it to perform work and balance dissipative processes such as friction. However, previous studies also showed that Earth's hydrological cycle uses up a large fraction of the heat engine's work output, which makes it difficult to view other atmospheres as heat engines.In this work I extend the heat engine principle from Earth towards other rocky planets. I explore both dry and moist atmospheres in an idealized general circulation model (GCM), and quantify their work output using entropy budgets. First, I show that convection and turbulent heat diffusion are important entropy sources in dry atmospheres. I develop a scaling that accounts for its effects, which allows me to predict the strength of frictional dissipation in dry atmospheres. There are strong parallels between my scaling and so-called potential intensity theory, which is a seminal theory for understanding tropical cyclones on Earth. Second, I address how moisture affects atmospheric heat engines. Moisture modifies both the thermodynamic properties of air and releases latent heat when water vapor condenses. I explore the impact of both effects, and use numerical simulations to explore the difference between dry and moist atmospheric circulations across a wide range of climates.

  5. Earth observations during Space Shuttle flight STS-41 - Discovery's mission to planet earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Helfert, Michael R.; Amsbury, David L.; Whitehead, Victor S.; Richards, Richard N.; Cabana, Robert D.; Shepherd, William M.; Akers, Thomas D.; Melnick, Bruce E.

    1991-01-01

    An overview of space flight STS-41 is presented, including personal observations and comments by the mission astronauts. The crew deployed the Ulysses spacecraft to study the polar regions of the sun and the interplanetary space above the poles. Environmental observations, including those of Lake Turkana, Lake Chad, biomass burning in Madagascar and Argentina, and circular features in Yucatan are described. Observations that include landforms and geology, continental sedimentation, desert landscapes, and river morphology are discussed.

  6. Survival of extrasolar giant planet moons in planet-planet scattering

    Science.gov (United States)

    CIAN HONG, YU; Lunine, Jonathan; Nicholson, Phillip; Raymond, Sean

    2015-12-01

    Planet-planet scattering is the best candidate mechanism for explaining the eccentricity distribution of exoplanets. Here we study the survival and dynamics of exomoons under strong perturbations during giant planet scattering. During close encounters, planets and moons exchange orbital angular momentum and energy. The most common outcomes are the destruction of moons by ejection from the system, collision with the planets and the star, and scattering of moons onto perturbed but still planet-bound orbits. A small percentage of interesting moons can remain bound to ejected (free-floating) planets or be captured by a different planet. Moons' survival rate is correlated with planet observables such as mass, semi-major axis, eccentricity and inclination, as well as the close encounter distance and the number of close encounters. In addition, moons' survival rate and dynamical outcomes are predetermined by the moons' initial semi-major axes. The survival rate drops quickly as moons' distances increase, but simulations predict a good chance of survival for the Galilean moons. Moons with different dynamical outcomes occupy different regions of orbital parameter space, which may enable the study of moons' past evolution. Potential effects of planet obliquity evolution caused by close encounters on the satellites’ stability and dynamics will be reported, as well as detailed and systematic studies of individual close encounter events.

  7. Inversion of the Earth spherical albedo from radiation-pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkman, Olli; Herranen, Joonas; Näränen, Jyri; Virtanen, Jenni; Koivula, Hannu; Poutanen, Markku; Penttilä, Antti; Gritsevich, Maria; Muinonen, Karri

    2017-04-01

    We are studying the retrieval of the spherical albedo and net radiation of the Earth from the perturbations caused by the planet's radiation on the dynamics of its satellites. The spherical or Bond albedo gives the ratio of the fluxes incident on and scattered by the planet. The net radiation represents the net heat input into the planet's climate system and drives changes in its atmospheric, surface, and ocean temperatures. The ultimate aim of the study is inverting the problem and estimating the Earth albedo based on observations of satellites, simultaneously improving the space-geodetic positioning accuracy. Here we investigate the effect of the spherical albedo on satellite orbits with the help of a simplified model. We simulate the propagation of satellite orbits using a new simulation software. The simulation contains the main perturbing forces on medium and high Earth orbits, used by, e.g., navigation satellites, including the radiation pressure of reflected sunlight from the Earth. An arbitrary satellite shape model can be used, and the rotation of the satellite is modeled. In this first study, we use a box-wing satellite model with a simple surface BRDF. We also assume a diffusely reflecting Earth with a single global albedo value. We vary the Earth albedo and search for systematic effects on different orbits. Thereafter, we estimate the dependence of the albedo accuracy on the satellite positioning and timing data available. We show that the inversion of the spherical albedo with reasonable accuracy is feasible from the current space-geodetic measurements.

  8. Kepler planet-detection mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borucki...[], William J.; Koch, David; Buchhave, Lars C. Astrup

    2010-01-01

    The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet’s surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler...... is one of the lowest-density planets (~0.17 gram per cubic centimeter) yet detected. Kepler-5b, -6b, and -8b confirm the existence of planets with densities lower than those predicted for gas giant planets....

  9. Seeding life on the moons of the outer planets via lithopanspermia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worth, R J; Sigurdsson, Steinn; House, Christopher H

    2013-12-01

    Material from the surface of a planet can be ejected into space by a large impact and could carry primitive life-forms with it. We performed n-body simulations of such ejecta to determine where in the Solar System rock from Earth and Mars may end up. We found that, in addition to frequent transfer of material among the terrestrial planets, transfer of material from Earth and Mars to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn is also possible, but rare. We expect that such transfers were most likely to occur during the Late Heavy Bombardment or during the ensuing 1-2 billion years. At this time, the icy moons were warmer and likely had little or no ice shell to prevent meteorites from reaching their liquid interiors. We also note significant rates of re-impact in the first million years after ejection. This could re-seed life on a planet after partial or complete sterilization by a large impact, which would aid the survival of early life during the Late Heavy Bombardment.

  10. The international earth observing system: a cultural debate about earth sciences from space

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Menenti, M.

    1996-01-01

    This paper gives an overview of the International Earth Observing System, i.e. the combined earth observation programmes of space agencies worldwide and of the relevance of advanced space-borne sensor systems to the study and understanding of interactions between land surface and atmosphere. The

  11. Earth and space science information systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zygielbaum, A. (ed.) (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91109 (United States))

    1993-01-01

    These proceedings represent papers presented at the Earth and Space Science Information Systems (ESSIS) Conference. The attendees included scientists and engineers across many disciplines. New trends in information organizations were reviewed. One hundred and twenty eight papers are included in this volume, out of these two have been abstracted for the Energy Science and Technology database. The topics covered in the papers range from Earth science and technology to astronomy and space, planetary science and education. (AIP)

  12. Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Frank; Chassefière, Eric; Breuer, Doris; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Kulikov, Yuri N; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Biernat, Helfried K; Leblanc, Francois; Kallio, Esa; Lundin, Richard; Westall, Frances; Bauer, Siegfried J; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Gröller, Hannes; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Hausleitner, Walter; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Leitzinger, Martin; Lichtenegger, Herbert I M; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Motschmann, Uwe; Odert, Petra; Paresce, Francesco; Parnell, John; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rauer, Heike; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Spohn, Tilman; Stadelmann, Anja; Stangl, Günter; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of Earth-like habitable planets is a complex process that depends on the geodynamical and geophysical environments. In particular, it is necessary that plate tectonics remain active over billions of years. These geophysically active environments are strongly coupled to a planet's host star parameters, such as mass, luminosity and activity, orbit location of the habitable zone, and the planet's initial water inventory. Depending on the host star's radiation and particle flux evolution, the composition in the thermosphere, and the availability of an active magnetic dynamo, the atmospheres of Earth-like planets within their habitable zones are differently affected due to thermal and nonthermal escape processes. For some planets, strong atmospheric escape could even effect the stability of the atmosphere.

  13. Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) 1.0: A General Circulation Model for Simulating the Climates of Rocky Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Way, M. J.; Aleinov, I.; Amundsen, David S.; Chandler, M. A.; Genio, A. D. Del; Fujii, Y.; Kelley, M.; Kiang, N. Y.; Sohl, L.; Tsigaridis, K.; Clune, T. L.

    2017-01-01

    Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) is a three-dimensional General Circulation Model (GCM) developed at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies for the modeling of atmospheres of solar system and exoplanetary terrestrial planets. Its parent model, known as ModelE2, is used to simulate modern Earth and near-term paleo-Earth climates. ROCKE-3D is an ongoing effort to expand the capabilities of ModelE2 to handle a broader range of atmospheric conditions, including higher and lower atmospheric pressures, more diverse chemistries and compositions, larger and smaller planet radii and gravity, different rotation rates (from slower to more rapid than modern Earth’s, including synchronous rotation), diverse ocean and land distributions and topographies, and potential basic biosphere functions. The first aim of ROCKE-3D is to model planetary atmospheres on terrestrial worlds within the solar system such as paleo-Earth, modern and paleo-Mars, paleo-Venus, and Saturn’s moon Titan. By validating the model for a broad range of temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric constituents, we can then further expand its capabilities to those exoplanetary rocky worlds that have been discovered in the past, as well as those to be discovered in the future. We also discuss the current and near-future capabilities of ROCKE-3D as a community model for studying planetary and exoplanetary atmospheres.

  14. Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) 1.0: A General Circulation Model for Simulating the Climates of Rocky Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Way, M. J.; Aleinov, I.; Amundsen, David S.; Chandler, M. A.; Genio, A. D. Del; Fujii, Y.; Kelley, M.; Kiang, N. Y.; Sohl, L.; Tsigaridis, K. [NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY 10025 (United States); Clune, T. L. [Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (United States)

    2017-07-01

    Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) is a three-dimensional General Circulation Model (GCM) developed at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies for the modeling of atmospheres of solar system and exoplanetary terrestrial planets. Its parent model, known as ModelE2, is used to simulate modern Earth and near-term paleo-Earth climates. ROCKE-3D is an ongoing effort to expand the capabilities of ModelE2 to handle a broader range of atmospheric conditions, including higher and lower atmospheric pressures, more diverse chemistries and compositions, larger and smaller planet radii and gravity, different rotation rates (from slower to more rapid than modern Earth’s, including synchronous rotation), diverse ocean and land distributions and topographies, and potential basic biosphere functions. The first aim of ROCKE-3D is to model planetary atmospheres on terrestrial worlds within the solar system such as paleo-Earth, modern and paleo-Mars, paleo-Venus, and Saturn’s moon Titan. By validating the model for a broad range of temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric constituents, we can then further expand its capabilities to those exoplanetary rocky worlds that have been discovered in the past, as well as those to be discovered in the future. We also discuss the current and near-future capabilities of ROCKE-3D as a community model for studying planetary and exoplanetary atmospheres.

  15. Mission operations update for the restructured Earth Observing System (EOS) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Angelita Castro; Chang, Edward S.

    1993-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth Observing System (EOS) will provide a comprehensive long term set of observations of the Earth to the Earth science research community. The data will aid in determining global changes caused both naturally and through human interaction. Understanding man's impact on the global environment will allow sound policy decisions to be made to protect our future. EOS is a major component of the Mission to Planet Earth program, which is NASA's contribution to the U.S. Global Change Research Program. EOS consists of numerous instruments on multiple spacecraft and a distributed ground system. The EOS Data and Information System (EOSDIS) is the major ground system developed to support EOS. The EOSDIS will provide EOS spacecraft command and control, data processing, product generation, and data archival and distribution services for EOS spacecraft. Data from EOS instruments on other Earth science missions (e.g., Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)) will also be processed, distributed, and archived in EOSDIS. The U.S. and various International Partners (IP) (e.g., the European Space Agency (ESA), the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) of Japan, and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA)) participate in and contribute to the international EOS program. The EOSDIS will also archive processed data from other designated NASA Earth science missions (e.g., UARS) that are under the broad umbrella of Mission to Planet Earth.

  16. Taxonomy of the extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plávalová, Eva

    2012-04-01

    When a star is described as a spectral class G2V, we know that the star is similar to our Sun. We know its approximate mass, temperature, age, and size. When working with an extrasolar planet database, it is very useful to have a taxonomy scale (classification) such as, for example, the Harvard classification for stars. The taxonomy has to be easily interpreted and present the most relevant information about extrasolar planets. I propose an extrasolar planet taxonomy scale with four parameters. The first parameter concerns the mass of an extrasolar planet in the form of units of the mass of other known planets, where M represents the mass of Mercury, E that of Earth, N Neptune, and J Jupiter. The second parameter is the planet's distance from its parent star (semimajor axis) described in a logarithm with base 10. The third parameter is the mean Dyson temperature of the extrasolar planet, for which I established four main temperature classes: F represents the Freezing class, W the Water class, G the Gaseous class, and R the Roasters class. I devised one additional class, however: P, the Pulsar class, which concerns extrasolar planets orbiting pulsar stars. The fourth parameter is eccentricity. If the attributes of the surface of the extrasolar planet are known, we are able to establish this additional parameter where t represents a terrestrial planet, g a gaseous planet, and i an ice planet. According to this taxonomy scale, for example, Earth is 1E0W0t, Neptune is 1N1.5F0i, and extrasolar planet 55 Cnc e is 9E-1.8R1.

  17. More Planets in the Hyades Cluster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    through the K2 light curves of young stars as part of the ZEIT (Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time) Survey. Using these data, they identified the presence of three planets in the EPIC 247589423 system:a roughly Earth-sized planet ( 1.0 Earth radii) with a period of 8.0 days,the mini-Neptune identified in the other study, with a size of 2.9 Earth radii and period of 17 days, anda super-Earth, with a size of 1.5 Earth radii and period of 26 days.Light curve of EPIC 247589423 from K2, with the lower panels showing the transits of the three discovered planets. [Mann et al. 2018]The smallest planet is among the youngest Earth-sized planets ever discovered, allowing us a rare glimpse into the history and evolution of planets similar to our own.But these planetary discoveries are additionally exciting because theyre orbiting a bright star thats relatively quiet for its age making the system an excellent target for dedicated radial-velocity observations to determine the planet masses.Since most young star clusters are much further away, they lie out of range of radial-velocity follow-up, rendering EPIC 247589423 a unique opportunity to explore the properties of young planets in detail. With more discoveries like these from Keplers data, we can hope to soon learn more about planets in all their stages of evolution.CitationAndrew W. Mann et al 2018 AJ 155 4. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aa9791

  18. The Near-Earth Space Radiation Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xapsos, Michael

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the effects of the Near-Earth space radiation environment on NASA missions. Included in this presentation is a review of The Earth s Trapped Radiation Environment, Solar Particle Events, Galactic Cosmic Rays and Comparison to Accelerator Facilities.

  19. Space Biology and Medicine. Volume I; Space and Its Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicogossian, Arnauld E.; Mohler, Stanley R.; Gazenko, Oleg G.; Grigoryev, Anatoliy I.

    1993-01-01

    Perhaps one of the greatest gifts that has been given to the people of the world in the last few hundred years has been an emerging sense of the place of our planet and its inhabitants within the context of the vast universe. Our knowledge of the rest of the universe has not come quickly, nor was the process of attaining it only recently begun; however, the unprecedented acceleration of that process has benefitted from a fundamental new aspect of our species that has only manifested itself in the last 30 years or so, the ability to travel in space. Before the space age, the Universe was studied only through observations from the Earth. All that has changed with the beginning of the space age. Machines built by humans have flown to all but one of the nine planets that revolve around our Sun, have ventured billions of miles from the Earth and looked back, and have landed on three other worlds. Spacecraft in orbit around the Earth have viewed the sky at a vast number of electromagnetic wavelengths, detecting the shape of the galaxy and the universe, and even measuring the remnants of the universe's beginning. Human explorers have ventured forth, first for short stays in orbit, then, later, walking upon the Moon and living for long periods in space. As they did so, billions of people on the Earth came to view the Earth in a fundamentally different way, not just as the familiar day to- day backdrop for their lives, but as a small oasis suspended in the night sky above an alien landscape. It is this new view of the Earth that is the true gift of space exploration. Space exploration has at once given us a new perspective on the value of our world, and a new perspective from which to understand how it operates. It has shown us that the Earth is by far the most precious place in the solar system in terms of supporting human life, while revealing that other destinations may still be compelling. The exploration of space has at once become a challenge for humanity to overcome

  20. Exploring the planets a memoir

    CERN Document Server

    Taylor, Fred

    2016-01-01

    This book is an informal, semi-autobiographical history, from the particular viewpoint of someone who was involved, of the exploration of the Solar System using spacecraft. The author is a Northumbrian, a Liverpudlian, a Californian, and an Oxford Don with half a century of experience of devising and deploying experiments to study the Earth and the planets, moons, and small bodies of the Solar System. Along with memories and anecdotes about his experiences as a participant in the space programme from its earliest days to the present, he describes in non-technical terms the science goals that drove the projects as well as the politics, pressures, and problems that had to be addressed and overcome on the way. The theme is the scientific intent of these ambitious voyages of discovery, and the joys and hardships of working to see them achieved. The narrative gives a first-hand account of things like how Earth satellites came to revolutionize weather forecasting, starting in the 1960s; how observations from space ...

  1. Geomorphology from space: A global overview of regional landforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Nicholas M. (Editor); Blair, Robert W., Jr. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    This book, Geomorphology from Space: A Global Overview of Regional Landforms, was published by NASA STIF as a successor to the two earlier works on the same subject: Mission to Earth: LANDSAT views the Earth, and ERTS-1: A New Window on Our Planet. The purpose of the book is threefold: first, to serve as a stimulant in rekindling interest in descriptive geomorphology and landforms analysis at the regional scale; second, to introduce the community of geologists, geographers, and others who analyze the Earth's surficial forms to the practical value of space-acquired remotely sensed data in carrying out their research and applications; and third, to foster more scientific collaboration between geomorphologists who are studying the Earth's landforms and astrogeologists who analyze landforms on other planets and moons in the solar system, thereby strengthening the growing field of comparative planetology.

  2. Factors Affecting the Habitability of Earth-like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Victoria; NAI-Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team

    2014-03-01

    Habitability is a measure of an environment's potential to support life. For exoplanets, the concept of habitability can be used broadly - to inform our calculations of the possibility and distribution of life elsewhere - or as a practical tool to inform mission designs and to prioritize specific targets in the search for extrasolar life. Although a planet's habitability does depend critically on the effect of stellar type and planetary semi-major axis on climate balance, work in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology has identified many additional factors that can affect a planet's environment and its potential ability to support life. Life requires material for metabolism and structures, a liquid medium for chemical transport, and an energy source to drive metabolism and other life processes. Whether a planet's surface or sub-surface can provide these requirements is the result of numerous planetary and astrophysical processes that affect the planet's formation and evolution. Many of these factors are interdependent, and fall into three main categories: stellar effects, planetary effects and planetary system effects. Key abiotic processes affecting the resultant planetary environment include photochemistry (e.g. Segura et al., 2003; 2005), stellar effects on climate balance (e.g. Joshii et al., 2012; Shields et al., 2013), atmospheric loss (e.g. Lopez and Fortney, 2013), and gravitational interactions with the star (e.g. Barnes et al., 2013). In many cases, the effect of these processes is strongly dependent on a specific planet's existing environmental properties. Examples include the resultant UV flux at a planetary surface as a product of stellar activity and the strength of a planet's atmospheric UV shield (Segura et al., 2010); and the amount of tidal energy available to a planet to drive plate tectonics and heat the surface (Barnes et al., 2009), which is in turn due to a combination of stellar mass, planetary mass and composition, planetary orbital

  3. Highlights and impacts of the International Year of Planet Earth in Hungary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szarka, László; Ádám, József; Brezsnyánszky, Károly; Haas, János; Kakas, Kristóf; Koppán, András.

    2010-05-01

    IYPE activities of various geo-science associations, universities, research institutes and private companies in Hungary (www.foldev.hu) have been successfully coordinated by the Hungarian National Committee, which was established by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the UNESCO- and the IUGS National Committees. The National Launch Event (April 17, 2008) was followed with a four-days long "Earth Science Fair" at the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest. The IYPE was even briefly reviewed in the Hungarian Parliament. The Science Festival, organized annually by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in 2008 had a special IYPE-inspired slogan: "Science for the Habitable Earth", where lectures were held about the modern content of the Greek Classical Elements ("earth", "water", "air" and "fire", that is energy) and about the Humanity. In 2008/2009 numerous publications (including the Hungarian version of the IYPE booklet series, under the title GEO-FIFIKA, the Természet Világa special issue in February 2009, the IYPE number of Földrajzi Közlemények (Geographical Communications), and the "Geological Map of Hungary for Tourists" were produced. Throughout the country, symposia (e.g. HUNGEO 2008, ELGI 100, MÁFI 140, Geotourism Symposium in October 2009), several contests (Hungarian Television "Delta", Élet és Tudomány on the occasion of the UN year, and the annual contests starting in 2007 at Miskolc University), film shows (e.g., the movie "Another Planet") and other performances (e.g. End of the Ice Age in Hungarian Natural History Museum) were organized, with modest but increasing media coverage. The worldwide premier of the Planet Earth TV took place in Hungary, on the occasion of the IAGA 11th Scientific Assembly (August 23-30, 2009, www.iaga2009sopron.hu). One of our conferences ("Earth and Heaven - Geology and Theology") pointed out that there should be no conflict between science and religion, either in the fields of Earth's history or evolution

  4. Extrusive and Intrusive Magmatism Greatly Influence the Tectonic Mode of Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lourenco, D.; Tackley, P. J.; Rozel, A.; Ballmer, M.

    2017-09-01

    Plate tectonics on Earth-like planets is typically modelling using a strongly temperature-dependent visco-plastic rheology. Previous analyses have generally focussed on purely thermal convection. However, we have shown that the influence of compositional heterogeneity in the form of continental or oceanic crust can greatly influence plate tectonics by making it easier (i.e. it occurs at a lower yield stress or friction coefficient). Here we present detailed results on this topic, in particular focussing on the influence of intrusive vs. extrusive magmatism on the tectonic mode.

  5. TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION DURING THE MIGRATION AND RESONANCE CROSSINGS OF THE GIANT PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lykawka, Patryk Sofia; Ito, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    The newly formed giant planets may have migrated and crossed a number of mutual mean motion resonances (MMRs) when smaller objects (embryos) were accreting to form the terrestrial planets in the planetesimal disk. We investigated the effects of the planetesimal-driven migration of Jupiter and Saturn, and the influence of their mutual 1:2 MMR crossing on terrestrial planet formation for the first time, by performing N-body simulations. These simulations considered distinct timescales of MMR crossing and planet migration. In total, 68 high-resolution simulation runs using 2000 disk planetesimals were performed, which was a significant improvement on previously published results. Even when the effects of the 1:2 MMR crossing and planet migration were included in the system, Venus and Earth analogs (considering both orbits and masses) successfully formed in several runs. In addition, we found that the orbits of planetesimals beyond a ∼ 1.5-2 AU were dynamically depleted by the strengthened sweeping secular resonances associated with Jupiter's and Saturn's more eccentric orbits (relative to the present day) during planet migration. However, this depletion did not prevent the formation of massive Mars analogs (planets with more than 1.5 times Mars's mass). Although late MMR crossings (at t > 30 Myr) could remove such planets, Mars-like small mass planets survived on overly excited orbits (high e and/or i), or were completely lost in these systems. We conclude that the orbital migration and crossing of the mutual 1:2 MMR of Jupiter and Saturn are unlikely to provide suitable orbital conditions for the formation of solar system terrestrial planets. This suggests that to explain Mars's small mass and the absence of other planets between Mars and Jupiter, the outer asteroid belt must have suffered a severe depletion due to interactions with Jupiter/Saturn, or by an alternative mechanism (e.g., rogue super-Earths)

  6. Stable Hydrogen-rich Atmospheres of Young Rocky Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, K. J.; Catling, D. C.; Gacesa, M.

    2016-12-01

    SourceURL:file://localhost/Volumes/Lexar/Zahnle_AGU_2016.docx Understanding hydrogen escape is essential to understanding the limits to habitability, both for liquid water where the Sun is bright, but also to assess the true potential of H2 as a greenhouse gas where the Sun is faint. Hydrogen-rich primary atmospheres of Earth-like planets can result either from gravitational capture of solar nebular gases (with helium), or from impact shock processing of a wide variety of volatile-rich planetesimals (typically accompanied by H2O, CO2, and under the right circumstances, CH4). Most studies of hydrogen escape from planets focus on determining how fast the hydrogen escapes. In general this requires solving hydrodynamic equations that take into account the acceleration of hydrogen through a critical transonic point and an energy budget that should include radiative heating and cooling, thermal conduction, the work done in lifting the hydrogen against gravity, and the residual heat carried by the hydrogen as it leaves. But for planets from which hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which is much simpler, and for which a relatively full-featured treatment of radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ is straightforward. Previous work has overlooked the fact that the H2 molecule is extremely efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, and thus that radiative cooling can be markedly more efficient when H2 is abundant. We map out the region of phase space in which terrestrial planets keep hydrogen-rich atmospheres, which is what we actually want to know for habitability. We will use this framework to reassess Tian et al's (Science 308, pp. 1014-1017, 2005) hypothesis that H2-rich atmospheres may have been rather long-lived on Earth itself. Finally, we will address the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than

  7. MIGRATION THEN ASSEMBLY: FORMATION OF NEPTUNE-MASS PLANETS INSIDE 1 AU

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansen, Brad M. S. [Department of Physics and Astronomy and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Murray, Norm, E-mail: hansen@astro.ucla.edu [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, 60 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    2012-06-01

    We demonstrate that the observed distribution of 'hot Neptune'/'super-Earth' systems is well reproduced by a model in which planet assembly occurs in situ, with no significant migration post-assembly. This is achieved only if the amount of mass in rocky material is {approx}50-100 M{sub Circled-Plus} interior to 1 AU. Such a reservoir of material implies that significant radial migration of solid material takes place, and that it occurs before the stage of final planet assembly. The model not only reproduces the general distribution of mass versus period but also the detailed statistics of multiple planet systems in the sample. We furthermore demonstrate that cores of this size are also likely to meet the criterion to gravitationally capture gas from the nebula, although accretion is rapidly limited by the opening of gaps in the gas disk. If the mass growth is limited by this tidal truncation, then the scenario sketched here naturally produces Neptune-mass objects with substantial components of both rock and gas, as is observed. The quantitative expectations of this scenario are that most planets in the 'hot Neptune/super-Earth' class inhabit multiple-planet systems, with characteristic orbital spacings. The model also provides a natural division into gas-rich (hot Neptune) and gas-poor (super-Earth) classes at fixed period. The dividing mass ranges from {approx}3 M{sub Circled-Plus} at 10 day orbital periods to {approx}10 M{sub Circled-Plus} at 100 day orbital periods. For orbital periods <10 days, the division is less clear because a gas atmosphere may be significantly eroded by stellar radiation.

  8. The Institute on Climate and Planets (ICP): A Research Education Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Barbara (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    Giving students a fair start to become productive and responsible contributors in the 21st century workforce and society depends on our ability to help them develop: (1) A global view of the world; (2) Problem-solving and/or reasoning abilities; (3) Basic scientific and technical literacy; and (4) A multi-disciplinary understanding of how humans and nature interact with the earth system. The Institute on Climate and Planets (ICP) in New York City is NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies' (GISS) response to the national challenge to give students a fair start to become productive in America's workforce and society, GISS is part of the Earth Science Director at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and a component of Columbia University's Earth Institute, a university-wide initiative whose mission is to understand our planet so as to enhance its sustainability. In 1994 Jim Hansen, several of his GISS and Columbia University colleagues and Fitzgerald Bramwell, the former Director of the New York City Alliance for Minority Participation at City University of New York, launched the ICP. ICP contributes to NASA education and minority outreach goals by directly involving underrepresented college, high school and junior high school students and their educators in research. ICP takes advantage of the interest of many civil servants and Columbia University research scientists at GISS to involve students and educators on multi-level research teams working on problems at the core of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise - advancing our understanding of Earth s climate, climate variability, and climate impacts.

  9. Earth study from space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidorenko, A. V.

    1981-01-01

    The significance that space studies are making to all Earth sciences in the areas of geography, geodesy, cartography, geology, meteorology, oceanology, agronomy, and ecology is discussed. It is predicted that cosmonautics will result in a revolution in science and technology.

  10. The "Planet Earth Week": a National Scientific Festival helping Italy Discover Geosciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seno, S.; Coccioni, R.

    2017-12-01

    The "Planet Earth Week- Italy Discovering Geosciences: a More Informed Society is a More Engaged Society" (www.settimanaterra.org) is a science festival that involves the whole of the Italian Regions: founded in 2012, it has become the largest event of Italian Geosciences and one of the biggest European science festivals. During a week in October several locations distributed throughout the Country (see map) are animated by events, called "Geoeventi", to disseminate geosciences to the masses and deliver science education by means of a wide range of activities: hiking, walking in city and town centers, open-door at museums and research centers, guided tours, exhibitions, educational and experimental workshops for children and young people, music and art performances, food and wine events, lectures, conferences, round tables. Universities and colleges, research centers, local Authorities, cultural and scientific associations, parks and museums, professionals organize the Geoeventi. The festival aims at bringing adults and young people to Geosciences, conveying enthusiasm for scientific research and discoveries, promoting sustainable cultural tourism, aware of environmental values and distributed all over Italy. The Geoeventi shed light both on the most spectacular and on the less known geological sites, which are often a stone's throw from home. The Planet Earth Week is growing year after year: the 2016 edition proposed 310 Geoeventi, 70 more than in 2015. The number of places involved in the project also increased and rose from 180 in 2015 to 230 in 2016. This initiative, that is also becoming a significant economic driver for many small companies active in the field of science divulgation, is analyzed, evaluated and put in a transnational network perspective.

  11. Space Moves: Adding Movement to Solar System Lessons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Deborah Bainer; Heidorn, Brent

    2009-01-01

    Earth and space science figure prominently in the National Science Education Standards for levels 5-8 (NRC 1996). The Earth in the Solar System standard focuses on students' ability to understand (1) the composition of the solar system (Earth, Moon, Sun, planets with their moons, and smaller objects like asteroids and comets) and (2) that…

  12. An extrasolar planetary system with three Neptune-mass planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Pepe, Francesco; Alibert, Yann; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Correia, Alexandre C M; Laskar, Jacques; Mordasini, Christoph; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno C; Udry, Stéphane; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Sivan, Jean-Pierre

    2006-05-18

    Over the past two years, the search for low-mass extrasolar planets has led to the detection of seven so-called 'hot Neptunes' or 'super-Earths' around Sun-like stars. These planets have masses 5-20 times larger than the Earth and are mainly found on close-in orbits with periods of 2-15 days. Here we report a system of three Neptune-mass planets with periods of 8.67, 31.6 and 197 days, orbiting the nearby star HD 69830. This star was already known to show an infrared excess possibly caused by an asteroid belt within 1 au (the Sun-Earth distance). Simulations show that the system is in a dynamically stable configuration. Theoretical calculations favour a mainly rocky composition for both inner planets, while the outer planet probably has a significant gaseous envelope surrounding its rocky/icy core; the outer planet orbits within the habitable zone of this star.

  13. Earth as an Exoplanet: Spectral Monitoring of an Inhabited Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, D. A.; Marchis, F.; Batalha, N. M.; Cabrol, N. A.; Smith, J. C.

    2018-02-01

    We propose a spectrometer for the Deep Space Gateway to monitor Earth as an exoplanet. We will measure the variability with illumination phase, rotation, clouds, and season. Results will inform future searches for biomarkers on distant exoplanets.

  14. KOI-3158: The oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Campante T. L.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The first discoveries of exoplanets around Sun-like stars have fueled efforts to find ever smaller worlds evocative of Earth and other terrestrial planets in the Solar System. While gas-giant planets appear to form preferentially around metal-rich stars, small planets (with radii less than four Earth radii can form under a wide range of metallicities. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the Universe’s history when metals were far less abundant. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of KOI-3158, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk, which hosts five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus. We used asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that KOI-3158 formed when the Universe was less than 20 % of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the Universe’s 13.8-billion-year history, providing scope for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy.

  15. A low cost automatic detection and ranging system for space surveillance in the medium Earth orbit region and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danescu, Radu; Ciurte, Anca; Turcu, Vlad

    2014-02-11

    The space around the Earth is filled with man-made objects, which orbit the planet at altitudes ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands of kilometers. Keeping an eye on all objects in Earth's orbit, useful and not useful, operational or not, is known as Space Surveillance. Due to cost considerations, the space surveillance solutions beyond the Low Earth Orbit region are mainly based on optical instruments. This paper presents a solution for real-time automatic detection and ranging of space objects of altitudes ranging from below the Medium Earth Orbit up to 40,000 km, based on two low cost observation systems built using commercial cameras and marginally professional telescopes, placed 37 km apart, operating as a large baseline stereovision system. The telescopes are pointed towards any visible region of the sky, and the system is able to automatically calibrate the orientation parameters using automatic matching of reference stars from an online catalog, with a very high tolerance for the initial guess of the sky region and camera orientation. The difference between the left and right image of a synchronized stereo pair is used for automatic detection of the satellite pixels, using an original difference computation algorithm that is capable of high sensitivity and a low false positive rate. The use of stereovision provides a strong means of removing false positives, and avoids the need for prior knowledge of the orbits observed, the system being able to detect at the same time all types of objects that fall within the measurement range and are visible on the image.

  16. The effect of a strong stellar flare on the atmospheric chemistry of an earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segura, Antígona; Walkowicz, Lucianne M; Meadows, Victoria; Kasting, James; Hawley, Suzanne

    2010-09-01

    Main sequence M stars pose an interesting problem for astrobiology: their abundance in our galaxy makes them likely targets in the hunt for habitable planets, but their strong chromospheric activity produces high-energy radiation and charged particles that may be detrimental to life. We studied the impact of the 1985 April 12 flare from the M dwarf AD Leonis (AD Leo), simulating the effects from both UV radiation and protons on the atmospheric chemistry of a hypothetical, Earth-like planet located within its habitable zone. Based on observations of solar proton events and the Neupert effect, we estimated a proton flux associated with the flare of 5.9 × 10⁸ protons cm⁻² sr⁻¹ s⁻¹ for particles with energies >10 MeV. Then we calculated the abundance of nitrogen oxides produced by the flare by scaling the production of these compounds during a large solar proton event called the Carrington event. The simulations were performed with a 1-D photochemical model coupled to a 1-D radiative/convective model. Our results indicate that the UV radiation emitted during the flare does not produce a significant change in the ozone column depth of the planet. When the action of protons is included, the ozone depletion reaches a maximum of 94% two years after the flare for a planet with no magnetic field. At the peak of the flare, the calculated UV fluxes that reach the surface, in the wavelength ranges that are damaging for life, exceed those received on Earth during less than 100 s. Therefore, flares may not present a direct hazard for life on the surface of an orbiting habitable planet. Given that AD Leo is one of the most magnetically active M dwarfs known, this conclusion should apply to planets around other M dwarfs with lower levels of chromospheric activity.

  17. Space storms and radiation causes and effects

    CERN Document Server

    Schrijver, Carolus J

    2010-01-01

    Heliophysics is a fast-developing scientific discipline that integrates studies of the Sun's variability, the surrounding heliosphere, and the environment and climate of planets. The Sun is a magnetically variable star and for planets with intrinsic magnetic fields, planets with atmospheres, or planets like Earth with both, there are profound consequences. This 2010 volume, the second in this series of three heliophysics texts, integrates the many aspects of space storms and the energetic radiation associated with them - from causes on the Sun to effects in planetary environments. It reviews t

  18. A rocky composition for an Earth-sized exoplanet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Andrew W; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Johnson, John Asher; Winn, Joshua N; Isaacson, Howard; Fischer, Debra A; Fulton, Benjamin J; Sinukoff, Evan; Fortney, Jonathan J

    2013-11-21

    Planets with sizes between that of Earth (with radius R Earth symbol) and Neptune (about 4R Earth symbol) are now known to be common around Sun-like stars. Most such planets have been discovered through the transit technique, by which the planet's size can be determined from the fraction of starlight blocked by the planet as it passes in front of its star. Measuring the planet's mass--and hence its density, which is a clue to its composition--is more difficult. Planets of size 2-4R Earth symbol have proved to have a wide range of densities, implying a diversity of compositions, but these measurements did not extend to planets as small as Earth. Here we report Doppler spectroscopic measurements of the mass of the Earth-sized planet Kepler-78b, which orbits its host star every 8.5 hours (ref. 6). Given a radius of 1.20 ± 0.09 R Earth symbol and a mass of 1.69 ± 0.41 R Earth symbol, the planet's mean density of 5.3 ± 1.8 g cm(-3) is similar to Earth's, suggesting a composition of rock and iron.

  19. Glimpses of far away places: Intensive atmosphere characterization of extrasolar planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    Exoplanet atmosphere characterization has the potential to reveal the origins, nature, and even habitability of distant worlds. This thesis represents a step towards realizing that potential for a diverse group of four extrasolar planets. Here, I present the results of intensive observational campaigns with the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes to study the atmospheres of the super-Earth GJ 1214b and the hot Jupiters WASP-43b, WASP-12b, and WASP-103b. I measured an unprecedentedly precise near-infrared transmission spectrum for GJ 1214b that definitively reveals the presence of clouds in the planet's atmosphere. For WASP-43b and WASP-12b, I also measured very precise spectra that exhibit water features at high confidence (>7 sigma). The retrieved water abundance for WASP-43b extends the well-known Solar System trend of decreasing atmospheric metallicity with increasing planet mass. The detection of water for WASP-12b marks the first spectroscopic identification of a molecule in the planet's atmosphere and implies that it has solar composition, ruling out carbon-to-oxygen ratios greater than unity. For WASP-103b, I present preliminary results from the new technique of phase-resolved spectroscopy to determine the planet's temperature structure, dynamics, and energy budget. In addition to these observations, I also describe the BATMAN code, an open-source Python package for fast and flexible modeling of transit light curves. Taken together, these results provide a foundation for comparative planetology beyond the Solar System and the investigation of Earth-like, potentially habitable planets with future observing facilities.

  20. Observing the Spectra of MEarth and TRAPPIST Planets with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, Caroline; Kreidberg, Laura; Rustamkulov, Zafar; Robinson, Tyler D.; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2017-10-01

    During the past two years, nine planets close to Earth in radius have been discovered around nearby M dwarfs cooler than 3300 K. These planets include the 7 planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system and two planets discovered by the MEarth survey, GJ 1132b and LHS 1140b (Dittmann et al. 2017; Berta-Thompson et al. 2015; Gillon et al. 2017). These planets are the smallest planets discovered to date that will be amenable to atmospheric characterization with JWST. They span equilibrium temperatures from ˜130 K to >500 K, and radii from 0.7 to 1.43 Earth radii. Some of these planets orbit as distances potentially amenable to surface liquid water, though the actual surface temperatures will depend strongly on the albedo of the planet and the thickness and composition of its atmosphere. The stars they orbit also vary in activity levels, from the quiet LHS 1140b host star to the more active TRAPPIST-1 host star. This set of planets will form the testbed for our first chance to study the diversity of atmospheres around Earth-sized planets. Here, we will present model spectra of these 9 planets, varying the composition and the surface pressure of the atmosphere. We base our elemental compositions on three outcomes of planetary atmosphere evolution in our own solar system: Earth, Titan, and Venus. We calculate the molecular compositions in chemical equilibrium. We present both thermal emission spectra and transmission spectra for each of these objects, and make predictions for the observability of these spectra with different instrument modes with JWST.

  1. Watching the Blue Planet from Space over Recent Decades: What's up for Science and Society?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    Since the first photographs of “Earth Rise” taken by the Apollo astronauts in the 1960s galvanized the environmental movement, imaging of our planet from low Earth orbit has grown more sophisticated and diverse. Satellite and astronaut observations and imagery of the changing ocean still have the power to galvanize oceanographers and society. So what are some of the key ideas for oceanography and society that come out of out recent decades of ocean observation from space? Satellite oceanography has made fundamental contributions to our understanding and estimation of changing sea level, winds and storminess over the oceans, primary productivity of the seas, the role of the ocean in the water cycle, and the changes in the ocean known as ocean acidification. Some of these phenomena interact in complex ways and Mother Nature hides the future well. However, some things are clear. Sea level rise has been monitored from space for more than 20 years and now we have a more nuanced understanding of regional variation in sea level rise and the contributions of ocean thermal expansion and the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. Wind vectors at the ocean surface have been measured for more than 2 decades and provide evidence for shifts in wind patterns that help, for example, explain some of the regional variations in sea level rise. Chlorophyll-a has been estimated in a multi-decadal record of observations and is being used to describe the shifts and trends in ocean primary productivity. Sea surface temperature estimation from space has records going back to the 1970s and provides critical information for the interaction of the ocean with the atmosphere. Sea surface salinity has been measured from space only within the last decade and provides a novel new view of regional, seasonal, and inter-annual changes in the ocean related to precipitation, river run-off, and eddy transport. Potential changes in the Earth’s water cycle have a huge societal impact.

  2. N-body simulations of planet formation: understanding exoplanet system architectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Gavin; Nelson, Richard

    2015-12-01

    Observations have demonstrated the existence of a significant population of compact systems comprised of super-Earths and Neptune-mass planets, and a population of gas giants that appear to occur primarily in either short-period (100 days) orbits. The broad diversity of system architectures raises the question of whether or not the same formation processes operating in standard disc models can explain these planets, or if different scenarios are required instead to explain the widely differing architectures. To explore this issue, we present the results from a comprehensive suite of N-body simulations of planetary system formation that include the following physical processes: gravitational interactions and collisions between planetary embryos and planetesimals; type I and II migration; gas accretion onto planetary cores; self-consistent viscous disc evolution and disc removal through photo-evaporation. Our results indicate that the formation and survival of compact systems of super-Earths and Neptune-mass planets occur commonly in disc models where a simple prescription for the disc viscosity is assumed, but such models never lead to the formation and survival of gas giant planets due to migration into the star. Inspired in part by the ALMA observations of HL Tau, and by MHD simulations that display the formation of long-lived zonal flows, we have explored the consequences of assuming that the disc viscosity varies in both time and space. We find that the radial structuring of the disc leads to conditions in which systems of giant planets are able to form and survive. Furthermore, these giants generally occupy those regions of the mass-period diagram that are densely populated by the observed gas giants, suggesting that the planet traps generated by radial structuring of protoplanetary discs may be a necessary ingredient for forming giant planets.

  3. Surviving Armageddon - Solutions for a Threatened Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Bill

    2005-07-01

    What do earthquakes, magma, asteroid 1950DA, and global warming have in common? All are very real natural disasters, already under way; all are also the focus of intensive work by scientists, aimed at preventing, predicting, or at least limiting their impact on civilization. Using the latest chilling data and taking care to draw a clear line between scientific fact and fiction, McGuire discusses the various ways that scientists have already started to prepare for survival. Solutions on earth range from 'space reflectors' to prevent global warming, to pressure-relieving 'robot excavators' to stop volcanic eruptions. In space, NASA is developing rocket motors to gently nudge asteroids out of Earth's path, and plans to have all threatening asteroids larger than 1km detected by 2008, thereby enabling us to predict possible collisions up to 2880. The book provides the strategies to the problems we face, and concludes optimistically with ways in which we can use technology to protect our society and planet from global catastrophe.

  4. VLWIR Sensors for Detecting and Tracking Near-Earth Asteroids, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — An important NASA mission is to detect, count and track near-earth asteroids for a variety of reasons including the hazards of collisions with our planet. Such...

  5. Extrasolar Planets: Towards Comparative Planetology beyond the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A. H.

    2012-09-01

    Today Scenario planet logy is a very important concept because now days the scientific research finding new and new planets and our work's range becoming too long. In the previous study shows about 10-12 years the research of planet logy now has changed . Few years ago we was talking about Sun planet, Earth planet , Moon ,Mars Jupiter & Venus etc. included but now the time has totally changed the recent studies showed that mono lakes California find the arsenic food use by micro organism that show that our study is very tiny as compare to planet long areas .We have very well known that arsenic is the toxic agent's and the toxic agent's present in the lakes and micro organism developing and life going on it's a unbelievable point for us but nature always play a magical games. In few years ago Aliens was the story no one believe the Aliens origin but now the aliens showed catch by our space craft and shuttle and every one believe that Aliens origin but at the moment's I would like to mention one point's that we have too more work required because our planet logy has a vast field. Most of the time our scientific mission shows that this planet found liquid oxygen ,this planet found hydrogen .I would like to clear that point's that all planet logy depend in to the chemical and these chemical gave the indication of the life but we are not abele to developed the adaptation according to the micro organism . Planet logy compare before study shows that Sun it's a combination of the various gases combination surrounded in a round form and now the central Sun Planets ,moons ,comets and asteroids In other word we can say that Or Sun has a wide range of the physical and Chemical properties in the after the development we can say that all chemical and physical property engaged with a certain environment and form a various contains like asteroids, moon, Comets etc. Few studies shows that other planet life affected to the out living planet .We can assure with the example the life

  6. On the feasibility of studying the exospheres of Earth-like exoplanets by Lyman- α monitoring. Detectability constraints for nearby M stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Ana I. Gómez de; Beitia-Antero, Leire; Ustamujic, Sabina

    2018-04-01

    Observations of the Earth's exosphere have unveiled an extended envelope of hydrogen reaching further than 10 Earth radii composed of atoms orbiting around the Earth. This large envelope increases significantly the opacity of the Earth to Lyman α (Ly α) photons coming from the Sun, to the point of making feasible the detection of the Earth's transit signature from 1.35 pc if pointing with an 8 meter primary mirror space telescope through a clean line of sight ( N H flux variability. We show that, in spite of the interstellar, heliospheric and astrospheric absorption, the transit signature in M5 V type stars would be detectable with a dedicated Ly α flux monitor implemented in a 4-8 m class space telescope. Such monitoring programs would enable measuring the robustness of planetary atmospheres under heavy space weather conditions like those produced by M-type stars. A 2-m class telescope, such as the World Space Observatory, would suffice to detect an Earth-like planet orbiting around Proxima Centauri, if there was such a planet or nearby M5 type stars.

  7. A System of Three Super Earths Transiting the Late K-Dwarf GJ 9827 at 30 pc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Joseph E.; Vanderburg, Andrew; Eastman, Jason D.; Mann, Andrew W.; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Ciardi, David R.; Latham, David W.; Quinn, Samuel N.

    2018-02-01

    We report the discovery of three small transiting planets orbiting GJ 9827, a bright (K = 7.2) nearby late K-type dwarf star. GJ 9827 hosts a 1.62 ± 0.11 {R}\\oplus super Earth on a 1.2 day period, a {1.269}-0.089+0.087 {R}\\oplus super Earth on a 3.6 day period, and a 2.07 ± 0.14 {R}\\oplus super Earth on a 6.2 day period. The radii of the planets transiting GJ 9827 span the transition between predominantly rocky and gaseous planets, and GJ 9827 b and c fall in or close to the known gap in the radius distribution of small planets between these populations. At a distance of 30 pc, GJ 9827 is the closest exoplanet host discovered by K2 to date, making these planets well-suited for atmospheric studies with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. The GJ 9827 system provides a valuable opportunity to characterize interior structure and atmospheric properties of coeval planets spanning the rocky to gaseous transition.

  8. Planet hunters. VI. An independent characterization of KOI-351 and several long period planet candidates from the Kepler archival data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Moriarty, John C.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Omohundro, Mark R.; Winarski, Troy; Goodman, Samuel Jon; Jebson, Tony; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Paterson, David A.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    We report the discovery of 14 new transiting planet candidates in the Kepler field from the Planet Hunters citizen science program. None of these candidates overlapped with Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) at the time of submission. We report the discovery of one more addition to the six planet candidate system around KOI-351, making it the only seven planet candidate system from Kepler. Additionally, KOI-351 bears some resemblance to our own solar system, with the inner five planets ranging from Earth to mini-Neptune radii and the outer planets being gas giants; however, this system is very compact, with all seven planet candidates orbiting ≲ 1 AU from their host star. A Hill stability test and an orbital integration of the system shows that the system is stable. Furthermore, we significantly add to the population of long period transiting planets; periods range from 124 to 904 days, eight of them more than one Earth year long. Seven of these 14 candidates reside in their host star's habitable zone.

  9. Scenarios of giant planet formation and evolution and their impact on the formation of habitable terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2014-04-28

    In our Solar System, there is a clear divide between the terrestrial and giant planets. These two categories of planets formed and evolved separately, almost in isolation from each other. This was possible because Jupiter avoided migrating into the inner Solar System, most probably due to the presence of Saturn, and never acquired a large-eccentricity orbit, even during the phase of orbital instability that the giant planets most likely experienced. Thus, the Earth formed on a time scale of several tens of millions of years, by collision of Moon- to Mars-mass planetary embryos, in a gas-free and volatile-depleted environment. We do not expect, however, that this clear cleavage between the giant and terrestrial planets is generic. In many extrasolar planetary systems discovered to date, the giant planets migrated into the vicinity of the parent star and/or acquired eccentric orbits. In this way, the evolution and destiny of the giant and terrestrial planets become intimately linked. This paper discusses several evolutionary patterns for the giant planets, with an emphasis on the consequences for the formation and survival of habitable terrestrial planets. The conclusion is that we should not expect Earth-like planets to be typical in terms of physical and orbital properties and accretion history. Most habitable worlds are probably different, exotic worlds.

  10. THE COMPOSITIONAL DIVERSITY OF EXTRASOLAR TERRESTRIAL PLANETS. II. MIGRATION SIMULATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O'Brien, David P.; Raymond, Sean N.

    2012-01-01

    Prior work has found that a variety of terrestrial planetary compositions are expected to occur within known extrasolar planetary systems. However, such studies ignored the effects of giant planet migration, which is thought to be very common in extrasolar systems. Here we present calculations of the compositions of terrestrial planets that formed in dynamical simulations incorporating varying degrees of giant planet migration. We used chemical equilibrium models of the solid material present in the disks of five known planetary host stars: the Sun, GJ 777, HD4203, HD19994, and HD213240. Giant planet migration has a strong effect on the compositions of simulated terrestrial planets as the migration results in large-scale mixing between terrestrial planet building blocks that condensed at a range of temperatures. This mixing acts to (1) increase the typical abundance of Mg-rich silicates in the terrestrial planets' feeding zones and thus increase the frequency of planets with Earth-like compositions compared with simulations with static giant planet orbits, and (2) drastically increase the efficiency of the delivery of hydrous phases (water and serpentine) to terrestrial planets and thus produce waterworlds and/or wet Earths. Our results demonstrate that although a wide variety of terrestrial planet compositions can still be produced, planets with Earth-like compositions should be common within extrasolar planetary systems.

  11. Extrasolar planets : - From gaseous giant planets to rocky planets. - Steps towards the detection of life biomarkers.

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2017-01-01

    Today, great efforts are made to detect Earth-mass rocky planets in the so-called habitable zone of their host stars. What are the difficulties, the instrumental projects  and the already detected interesting systems ?

  12. Magnetic Fields of Extrasolar Planets: Planetary Interiors and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, T. Joseph

    2018-06-01

    Ground-based observations showed that Jupiter's radio emission is linked to its planetary-scale magnetic field, and subsequent spacecraft observations have shown that most planets, and some moons, have or had a global magnetic field. Generated by internal dynamos, magnetic fields are one of the few remote sensing means of constraining the properties of planetary interiors. For the Earth, its magnetic field has been speculated to be partially responsible for its habitability, and knowledge of an extrasolar planet's magnetic field may be necessary to assess its habitability. The radio emission from Jupiter and other solar system planets is produced by an electron cyclotron maser, and detections of extrasolar planetary electron cyclotron masers will enable measurements of extrasolar planetary magnetic fields. Based on experience from the solar system, such observations will almost certainly require space-based observations, but they will also be guided by on-going and near-future ground-based observations.This work has benefited from the discussion and participants of the W. M. Keck Institute of Space Studies "Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability" and content within a white paper submitted to the National Academy of Science Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  13. Model-Based Trade Space Exploration for Near-Earth Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Ronald H.; Boncyk, Wayne; Brutocao, James; Beveridge, Iain

    2005-01-01

    We developed a capability for model-based trade space exploration to be used in the conceptual design of Earth-orbiting space missions. We have created a set of reusable software components to model various subsystems and aspects of space missions. Several example mission models were created to test the tools and process. This technique and toolset has demonstrated itself to be valuable for space mission architectural design.

  14. The Revolution in Earth and Space Science Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barstow, Daniel; Geary, Ed; Yazijian, Harvey

    2002-01-01

    Explains the changing nature of earth and space science education such as using inquiry-based teaching, how technology allows students to use satellite images in inquiry-based investigations, the consideration of earth and space as a whole system rather than a sequence of topics, and increased student participation in learning opportunities. (YDS)

  15. Plasma in outer space and in laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Podgornyj, I.

    1976-01-01

    The problems of modelling a plasma in interplanetary space, in the Earth magnetosphere and in the atmospheres of other planets are discussed. Particular attention is devoted to solar wind behaviour. (B.S.)

  16. Constitution of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waenke, H.

    1981-01-01

    Reliable estimates of the bulk composition are restricted to the Earth, the Moon and the eucrite parent asteroid. The last, the parent body of the eucrite-diogenite family of meteorites, seems to have an almost chondritic composition except for a considerable depletion of all moderately volatile (Na, K, Rb, F, etc.) and highly volatile (Cl, Br, Cd, Pb, etc.) elements. The moon is also depleted in moderate volatile and volatile elements compared to carbonaceous chondrites of type 1 (C1) and to the Earth. Again normalized to C1 and Si the Earth's mantle and the Moon are slightly enriched in refractory lithophile elements and in magnesium. The striking depletion of the Earth's mantle for the elements V, Cr and Mn can be explained by their partial removal into the core. Apart from their contents of metallic iron, all siderophile elements, moderately volatile and volatile elements, Earth and Moon are chemically very similar. It might well be that, with these exceptions and that of a varying degree of oxidation, all the inner planets have a similar chemistry. The chemical composition of the Earth's mantle, yields important information about the accretion history of the Earth and that of the inner planets. (author)

  17. Near-Earth Space Radiation Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xapsos, Michael A.; O'Neill, Patrick M.; O'Brien, T. Paul

    2012-01-01

    Review of models of the near-Earth space radiation environment is presented, including recent developments in trapped proton and electron, galactic cosmic ray and solar particle event models geared toward spacecraft electronics applications.

  18. Achievable space elevators for space transportation and starship acceleration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1990-04-01

    Space elevator concepts for low-cost space launches are reviewed. Previous concepts suffered from requirements for ultra-high-strength materials, dynamically unstable systems, or from danger of collision with space debris. The use of magnetic grain streams solves these problems. Magnetic grain streams can support short space elevators for lifting payloads cheaply into Earth orbit, overcoming the material strength problem in building space elevators. Alternatively, the stream could support an international spaceport circling the Earth daily tens of miles above the equator, accessible to advanced aircraft. Mars could be equipped with a similar grain stream, using material from its moons Phobos and Deimos. Grain-stream arcs about the sun could be used for fast launches to the outer planets and for accelerating starships to near lightspeed for interstellar reconnaisance. Grain streams are essentially impervious to collisions, and could reduce the cost of space transportation by an order of magnitude.

  19. Climate evolution on the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kasting, J.F.; Toon, O.B.

    1989-01-01

    The present comparative evaluation of the long-term evolution of the Venus, earth, and Mars climates suggests that the earth's climate has remained temperate over most of its history despite a secular solar luminosity increase in virtue of a negative-feedback cycle based on atmospheric CO 2 levels and climate. The examination of planetary climate histories suggests that an earth-sized planet should be able to maintain liquid water on its surface at orbital distances in the 0.9-1.5 AU range, comparable to the orbit of Mars; this, in turn, implies that there may be many other habitable planets within the Galaxy

  20. Solar Power Beaming: From Space to Earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rubenchik, A M; Parker, J M; Beach, R J; Yamamoto, R M

    2009-04-14

    Harvesting solar energy in space and power beaming the collected energy to a receiver station on Earth is a very attractive way to help solve mankind's current energy and environmental problems. However, the colossal and expensive 'first step' required in achieving this goal has to-date stifled its initiation. In this paper, we will demonstrate that recent advance advances in laser and optical technology now make it possible to deploy a space-based system capable of delivering 1 MW of energy to a terrestrial receiver station, via a single unmanned commercial launch into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Figure 1 depicts the overall concept of our solar power beaming system, showing a large solar collector in space, beaming a coherent laser beam to a receiving station on Earth. We will describe all major subsystems and provide technical and economic discussion to support our conclusions.

  1. Blue Marble: Remote Characterization of Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolf, Neville; Lewis, Brian; Chartres, James; Genova, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    The study of the nature and distribution of habitable environments beyond the Solar System is a key area for Astrobiology research. At the present time, our Earth is the only habitable planet that can be characterized in the same way that we might characterize planets beyond the Solar System. Due to limitations in our current and near-future technology, it is likely that extra-solar planets will be observed as single-pixel objects. To understand this data, we must develop skills in analyzing and interpreting the radiation obtained from a single pixel. These skills must include the study of the time variation of the radiation, and the range of its photometric, spectroscopic and polarimetric properties. In addition, to understand whether we are properly analyzing the single pixel data, we need to compare it with a ground truth of modest resolution images in key spectral bands. This paper discusses the concept for a mission called Blue Marble that would obtain data of the Earth using a combination of spectropolarimetry, spectrophotometry, and selected band imaging. To obtain imagery of the proper resolution, it is desirable to place the Blue Marble spacecraft no closer than the outer region of cis-lunar space. This paper explores a conceptual mission design that takes advantage of low-cost launchers, bus designs and mission elements to provide a cost effective observing platform located at one of the stable Earth-moon Lagrangian points (L4, L5). The mission design allows for the development and use of novel technologies, such as a spinning moon sensor for attitude control, and leverages lessons-learned from previous low-cost spacecraft such as Lunar Prospector to yield a low-risk mission concept.

  2. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macintosh, B

    2005-01-01

    One of the most exciting scientific discoveries in the last decade of the twentieth century was the first detection of planets orbiting a star other than our own. By now more than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered indirectly, by observing the gravitational effects of the planet on the radial velocity of its parent star. This technique has fundamental limitations: it is most sensitive to planets close to their star, and it determines only a planet's orbital period and a lower limit on the planet's mass. As a result, all the planetary systems found so far are very different from our own--they have giant Jupiter-sized planets orbiting close to their star, where the terrestrial planets are found in our solar system. Such systems have overturned the conventional paradigm of planet formation, but have no room in them for habitable Earth-like planets. A powerful complement to radial velocity detections of extrasolar planets will be direct imaging--seeing photons from the planet itself. Such a detection would allow photometric measurements to determine the temperature and radius of a planet. Also, direct detection is most sensitive to planets in wide orbits, and hence more capable of seeing solar systems resembling our own, since a giant planet in a wide orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet closer to the star. Direct detection, however, is extremely challenging. Jupiter is roughly a billion times fainter than our sun. Two techniques allowed us to overcome this formidable contrast and attempt to see giant planets directly. The first is adaptive optics (AO) which allows giant earth-based telescopes, such as the 10 meter W.M. Keck telescope, to partially overcome the blurring effects of atmospheric turbulence. The second is looking for young planets: by searching in the infrared for companions to young stars, we can see thermal emission from planets that are still warm with the heat of their formation. Together with a UCLA team that leads the

  3. Simulated JWST/NIRISS Transit Spectroscopy of Anticipated Tess Planets Compared to Select Discoveries from Space-based and Ground-based Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louie, Dana R.; Deming, Drake; Albert, Loic; Bouma, L. G.; Bean, Jacob; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes

    2018-04-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will embark in 2018 on a 2 year wide-field survey mission, discovering over a thousand terrestrial, super-Earth and sub-Neptune-sized exoplanets ({R}pl}≤slant 4 {R}\\oplus ) potentially suitable for follow-up observations using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). This work aims to understand the suitability of anticipated TESS planet discoveries for atmospheric characterization by JWST’s Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) by employing a simulation tool to estimate the signal-to-noise (S/N) achievable in transmission spectroscopy. We applied this tool to Monte Carlo predictions of the TESS expected planet yield and then compared the S/N for anticipated TESS discoveries to our estimates of S/N for 18 known exoplanets. We analyzed the sensitivity of our results to planetary composition, cloud cover, and presence of an observational noise floor. We find that several hundred anticipated TESS discoveries with radii 1.5 {R}\\oplus R}pl}≤slant 2.5 {R}\\oplus will produce S/N higher than currently known exoplanets in this radius regime, such as K2-3b or K2-3c. In the terrestrial planet regime, we find that only a few anticipated TESS discoveries will result in higher S/N than currently known exoplanets, such as the TRAPPIST-1 planets, GJ1132b, and LHS1140b. However, we emphasize that this outcome is based upon Kepler-derived occurrence rates, and that co-planar compact multi-planet systems (e.g., TRAPPIST-1) may be under-represented in the predicted TESS planet yield. Finally, we apply our calculations to estimate the required magnitude of a JWST follow-up program devoted to mapping the transition region between hydrogen-dominated and high molecular weight atmospheres. We find that a modest observing program of between 60 and 100 hr of charged JWST time can define the nature of that transition (e.g., step function versus a power law).

  4. A review of the US Global Change Research Program and NASA's Mission to Planet Earth/Earth Observing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Berrien, III; Anderson, James G.; Costanza, Robert; Gates, W. Lawrence; Grew, Priscilla C.; Leinen, Margaret S.; Mayewski, Paul A.; McCarthy, James J.; Sellers, Piers J.

    1995-01-01

    This report reflects the results of a ten-day workshop convened at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography July 19-28, 1995. The workshop was convened as the first phase of a two part review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The workshop was organized to provide a review of the scientific foundations and progress to date in the USGCRP and an assessment of the implications of new scientific insights for future USGCRP and Mission to Planet Earth/Earth Observing System (MTPE/EOS) activities; a review of the role of NASA's MTPE/EOS program in the USGCRP observational strategy; a review of the EOS Data and Information System (EOSDIS) as a component of USGCRP data management activities; and an assessment of whether recent developments in the following areas lead to a need to readjust MTPE/EOS plans. Specific consideration was given to: proposed convergence of U.S. environmental satellite systems and programs, evolving international plans for Earth observation systems, advances in technology, and potential expansion of the role of the private sector. The present report summarizes the findings and recommendations developed by the Committee on Global Change Research on the basis of the presentations, background materials, working group deliberations, and plenary discussions of the workshop. In addition, the appendices include summaries prepared by the six working groups convened in the course of the workshop.

  5. ERA-PLANET THE EUROPEAN NETWORK FOR OBSERVING OUR CHANGING PLANET

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Pirrone

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In the last decade a significant number of projects and programmes in different domains of Earth Observation and environmental monitoring have generated a substantial amount of data and knowledge on different aspects related to environmental quality and sustainability. Big data generated by in-situ or satellite platforms are being collected and archived with a plethora of systems and instruments making difficult the sharing of data and transfer of knowledge to stakeholders and policy makers to support key economic and societal sectors. The overarching goal of ERAPLANET is to strengthen the European Research Area in the domain of Earth Observation in coherence with the European participation in the Group on Earth Observation (GEO and Copernicus. The expected impact is to strengthen European leadership within the forthcoming GEO 2015-2025 Work Plan. ERA-PLANET is designed to reinforce the interface with user communities, whose needs the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS intends to address. It will provide more accurate, comprehensive and authoritative information to policy and decision-makers in key societal benefit areas, such as Smart Cities and Resilient Societies; Resource efficiency and Environmental management; Global changes and Environmental treaties; Polar areas and Natural resources. ERA-PLANET will provide advanced decision-support tools and technologies aimed to better monitor our global environment and share the information and knowledge available in the different domains of Earth Observation.

  6. Era-Planet the European Network for Observing Our Changing Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirrone, N.; Cinnirella, S.; Nativi, S.; Sprovieri, F.; Hedgecock, I. M.

    2016-06-01

    In the last decade a significant number of projects and programmes in different domains of Earth Observation and environmental monitoring have generated a substantial amount of data and knowledge on different aspects related to environmental quality and sustainability. Big data generated by in-situ or satellite platforms are being collected and archived with a plethora of systems and instruments making difficult the sharing of data and transfer of knowledge to stakeholders and policy makers to support key economic and societal sectors. The overarching goal of ERAPLANET is to strengthen the European Research Area in the domain of Earth Observation in coherence with the European participation in the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and Copernicus. The expected impact is to strengthen European leadership within the forthcoming GEO 2015-2025 Work Plan. ERA-PLANET is designed to reinforce the interface with user communities, whose needs the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) intends to address. It will provide more accurate, comprehensive and authoritative information to policy and decision-makers in key societal benefit areas, such as Smart Cities and Resilient Societies; Resource efficiency and Environmental management; Global changes and Environmental treaties; Polar areas and Natural resources. ERA-PLANET will provide advanced decision-support tools and technologies aimed to better monitor our global environment and share the information and knowledge available in the different domains of Earth Observation.

  7. The Sun/Earth System and Space Weather

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poland, Arthur I.; Fox, Nicola; Lucid, Shannon

    2003-01-01

    Solar variability and solar activity are now seen as significant drivers with respect to the Earth and human technology systems. Observations over the last 10 years have significantly advanced our understanding of causes and effects in the Sun/Earth system. On a practical level the interactions between the Sun and Earth dictate how we build our systems in space (communications satellites, GPS, etc), and some of our ground systems (power grids). This talk will be about the Sun/Earth system: how it changes with time, its magnetic interactions, flares, the solar wind, and how the Sun effects human systems. Data will be presented from some current spacecraft which show, for example, how we are able to currently give warnings to the scientific community, the Government and industry about space storms and how this data has improved our physical understanding of processes on the Sun and in the magnetosphere. The scientific advances provided by our current spacecraft has led to a new program in NASA to develop a 'Space Weather' system called 'Living With a Star'. The current plan for the 'Living With a Star' program will also be presented.

  8. Climatic Evolution and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets: Perspectives from Coupled Atmosphere-Mantle Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu Sarkar, D.; Moore, W. B.

    2016-12-01

    A multitude of factors including the distance from the host star and the stage of planetary evolution affect planetary climate and habitability. The complex interactions between the atmosphere and dynamics of the deep interior of the planets along with stellar fluxes present a formidable challenge. This work employs simplified approaches to address these complex issues in a systematic way. To be specific, we are investigating the coupled evolution of atmosphere and mantle dynamics. The overarching goal here is to simulate the evolutionary history of the terrestrial planets, for example Venus, Earth and Mars. This research also aims at deciphering the history of Venus-like runaway greenhouse and thus explore the possibility of cataclysmic shifts in climate of Earth-like planets. We focus on volatile cycling within the solid planets to understand the role of carbon/water in climatic and tectonic outcomes of such planets. In doing so, we are considering the feedbacks in the coupled mantle-atmosphere system. The primary feedback between the atmosphere and mantle is the surface temperature established by the greenhouse effect, which regulates the temperature gradient that drives the mantle convection and controls the rate at which volatiles are exchanged through weathering. We start our models with different initial assumptions to determine the final climate outcomes within a reasonable parameter space. Currently, there are very few planetary examples, to sample the climate outcomes, however this will soon change as exoplanets are discovered and examined. Therefore, we will be able to work with a significant number of potential candidates to answer questions like this one: For every Earth is there one Venus? ten? a thousand?

  9. The Sun's Mysteries from Space - I

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    climate. Historically, it was the motion of the planets around the. Sun that .... concentrations of magnetic field, the convection is suppressed ... near-Earth space environments. ... Some of these reach our eyes and can be detected during the rare.

  10. A STATISTICAL RECONSTRUCTION OF THE PLANET POPULATION AROUND KEPLER SOLAR-TYPE STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silburt, Ari; Wu, Yanqin; Gaidos, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Using the cumulative catalog of planets detected by the NASA Kepler mission, we reconstruct the intrinsic occurrence of Earth- to Neptune-size (1-4 R ⊕ ) planets and their distributions with radius and orbital period. We analyze 76,711 solar-type (0.8 < R * /R ☉ < 1.2) stars with 430 planets on 20-200 day orbits, excluding close-in planets that may have been affected by the proximity to the host star. Our analysis considers errors in planet radii and includes an ''iterative simulation'' technique that does not bin the data. We find a radius distribution that peaks at 2-2.8 Earth radii, with lower numbers of smaller and larger planets. These planets are uniformly distributed with logarithmic period, and the mean number of such planets per star is 0.46 ± 0.03. The occurrence is ∼0.66 if planets interior to 20 days are included. We estimate the occurrence of Earth-size planets in the ''habitable zone'' (defined as 1-2 R ⊕ , 0.99-1.7 AU for solar-twin stars) as 6.4 −1.1 +3.4 %. Our results largely agree with those of Petigura et al., although we find a higher occurrence of 2.8-4 Earth-radii planets. The reasons for this excess are the inclusion of errors in planet radius, updated Huber et al. stellar parameters, and also the exclusion of planets that may have been affected by proximity to the host star

  11. The Potential for Volcanism and Tectonics on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Roberge, Aki

    2018-01-01

    JWST and other next-generation space telescopes (e.g., LUVOIR, HabEx, & OST) will usher in a new era of exoplanet characterization that may lead to the identification of habitable, Earth-like worlds. Like the planets and moons in our solar system, the surfaces and interiors of terrestrial exoplanets may be shaped by volcanism and tectonics (Fu et al., 2010; van Summeren et al., 2011; Henning and Hurford, 2014). The magnitude and rate of occurrence of these dynamic processes can either facilitate or preclude the existence of habitable environments. Likewise, it has been suggested that detections of cryovolcanism on icy exoplanets, in the form of geyser-like plumes, could indicate the presence of subsurface oceans (Quick et al., 2017).The presence of volcanic and tectonic activity on solid exoplanets will be intimately linked to planet size and heat output in the form of radiogenic and/or tidal heating. In order to place bounds on the potential for such activity, we estimated the heat output of a variety of exoplanets observed by Kepler. We considered planets whose masses and radii range from 0.067 ME (super-Ganymede) to 8 ME (super-Earth), and 0.5 to 1.8 RE, respectively. These heat output estimates were then compared to those of planets, moons, and dwarf planets in our solar system for which we have direct evidence for the presence/absence of volcanic and tectonic activity. After exoplanet heating rates were estimated, depths to putative molten layers in their interiors were also calculated. For planets such as TRAPPIST-1h, whose densities, orbital parameters, and effective temperatures are consistent with the presence of significant amounts of H2O (Luger et al., 2017), these calculations reveal the depths to internal oceans which may serve as habitable niches beneath surface ice layers.

  12. DECIPHERING THERMAL PHASE CURVES OF DRY, TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koll, Daniel D. B.; Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: dkoll@uchicago.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2015-03-20

    Next-generation space telescopes will allow us to characterize terrestrial exoplanets. To do so effectively it will be crucial to make use of all available data. We investigate which atmospheric properties can, and cannot, be inferred from the broadband thermal phase curve of a dry and tidally locked terrestrial planet. First, we use dimensional analysis to show that phase curves are controlled by six nondimensional parameters. Second, we use an idealized general circulation model to explore the relative sensitivity of phase curves to these parameters. We find that the feature of phase curves most sensitive to atmospheric parameters is the peak-to-trough amplitude. Moreover, except for hot and rapidly rotating planets, the phase amplitude is primarily sensitive to only two nondimensional parameters: (1) the ratio of dynamical to radiative timescales and (2) the longwave optical depth at the surface. As an application of this technique, we show how phase curve measurements can be combined with transit or emission spectroscopy to yield a new constraint for the surface pressure and atmospheric mass of terrestrial planets. We estimate that a single broadband phase curve, measured over half an orbit with the James Webb Space Telescope, could meaningfully constrain the atmospheric mass of a nearby super-Earth. Such constraints will be important for studying the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial exoplanets as well as characterizing the surface conditions on potentially habitable planets.

  13. Hydrothermal systems in small ocean planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vance, Steve; Harnmeijer, Jelte; Kimura, Jun; Hussmann, Hauke; Demartin, Brian; Brown, J Michael

    2007-12-01

    We examine means for driving hydrothermal activity in extraterrestrial oceans on planets and satellites of less than one Earth mass, with implications for sustaining a low level of biological activity over geological timescales. Assuming ocean planets have olivine-dominated lithospheres, a model for cooling-induced thermal cracking shows how variation in planet size and internal thermal energy may drive variation in the dominant type of hydrothermal system-for example, high or low temperature system or chemically driven system. As radiogenic heating diminishes over time, progressive exposure of new rock continues to the current epoch. Where fluid-rock interactions propagate slowly into a deep brittle layer, thermal energy from serpentinization may be the primary cause of hydrothermal activity in small ocean planets. We show that the time-varying hydrostatic head of a tidally forced ice shell may drive hydrothermal fluid flow through the seafloor, which can generate moderate but potentially important heat through viscous interaction with the matrix of porous seafloor rock. Considering all presently known potential ocean planets-Mars, a number of icy satellites, Pluto, and other trans-neptunian objects-and applying Earth-like material properties and cooling rates, we find depths of circulation are more than an order of magnitude greater than in Earth. In Europa and Enceladus, tidal flexing may drive hydrothermal circulation and, in Europa, may generate heat on the same order as present-day radiogenic heat flux at Earth's surface. In all objects, progressive serpentinization generates heat on a globally averaged basis at a fraction of a percent of present-day radiogenic heating and hydrogen is produced at rates between 10(9) and 10(10) molecules cm(2) s(1).

  14. Human impact on the planet: an earth system science perspective and ethical considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard S.

    2002-01-01

    natural and human history to stop further degradation of Earth?s ecosystems and extinction of its biota? The fate of the biosphere, including humanity, depends on a reaffirmation by all humans of all cultures and religions of the global importance of a planet-wide conservation of the Earth?s biotic heritage. For the world?s religions it means elevation of stewardship of the Earth to a moral imperative and a goal of complete preservation of the Earth?s biotic inheritance, one which is based on a Do No Harm ethic.

  15. Take off with NASA's Kepler Mission!: The Search for Other "Earths"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, David; DeVore, Edna K.; Gould, Alan; Harman, Pamela

    2009-01-01

    Humans have long wondered about life in the universe. Are we alone? Is Earth unique? What is it that makes our planet a habitable one, and are there others like Earth? NASA's Kepler Mission seeks the answers to these questions. Kepler is a space-based, specially designed 0.95 m aperture telescope. Launching in 2009, Kepler is NASA's first mission…

  16. What Makes Earth and Space Science Sexy? A Model for Developing Systemic Change in Earth and Space Systems Science Curriculum and Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slutskin, R. L.

    2001-12-01

    Earth and Space Science may be the neglected child in the family of high school sciences. In this session, we examine the strategies that Anne Arundel County Public Schools and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center used to develop a dynamic and highly engaging program which follows the vision of the National Science Education Standards, is grounded in key concepts of NASA's Earth Science Directorate, and allows students to examine and apply the current research of NASA scientists. Find out why Earth/Space Systems Science seems to have usurped biology and has made students, principals, and teachers clamor for similar instructional practices in what is traditionally thought of as the "glamorous" course.

  17. VULCAN PLANETS: INSIDE-OUT FORMATION OF THE INNERMOST SUPER-EARTHS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chatterjee, Sourav [Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Tan, Jonathan C., E-mail: sourav.chatterjee@northwestern.edu, E-mail: jt@astro.ufl.edu [Departments of Astronomy and Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)

    2015-01-10

    The compact multi-transiting systems discovered by Kepler challenge traditional planet formation theories. These fall into two broad classes: (1) formation further out followed by migration and (2) formation in situ from a disk of gas and planetesimals. In the former, an abundance of resonant chains is expected, which the Kepler data do not support. In the latter, required disk mass surface densities may be too high. A recently proposed mechanism hypothesizes that planets form in situ at the pressure trap associated with the dead-zone inner boundary (DZIB) where radially drifting ''pebbles'' accumulate. This scenario predicts planet masses (M{sub p} ) are set by the gap-opening process that then leads to DZIB retreat, followed by sequential, inside-out planet formation (IOPF). For typical disk accretion rates, IOPF predictions for M{sub p} , M{sub p} versus orbital radius r, and planet-planet separations are consistent with observed systems. Here we investigate the IOPF prediction for how the masses, M{sub p,} {sub 1}, of the innermost (''Vulcan'') planets vary with r. We show that for fiducial parameters, M {sub p,} {sub 1} ≅ 5.0(r/0.1 AU) M {sub ⊕}, independent of the disk's accretion rate at time of planet formation. Then, using Monte Carlo sampling of a population of these innermost planets, we test this predicted scaling against observed planet properties, allowing for intrinsic dispersions in planetary densities and Kepler's observational biases. These effects lead to a slightly shallower relation M{sub p,} {sub 1}∝r {sup 0.9} {sup ±} {sup 0.2}, which is consistent with M{sub p,} 1∝r {sup 0.7} {sup ±} {sup 0.2} of the observed Vulcans. The normalization of the relation constrains the gap-opening process, favoring relatively low viscosities in the inner dead zone.

  18. Three regimes of extrasolar planet radius inferred from host star metallicities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchhave, Lars A; Bizzarro, Martin; Latham, David W; Sasselov, Dimitar; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Isaacson, Howard; Juncher, Diana; Marcy, Geoffrey W

    2014-05-29

    Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests that they range in composition from small, high-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick hydrogen and helium gas envelopes. Here we report the metallicities (that is, the abundances of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) of more than 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates, and find that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct (∼4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (radii less than 1.7 Earth radii), gas dwarf planets with rocky cores and hydrogen-helium envelopes (radii between 1.7 and 3.9 Earth radii) and ice or gas giant planets (radii greater than 3.9 Earth radii). These transitions correspond well with those inferred from dynamical mass estimates, implying that host star metallicity, which is a proxy for the initial solids inventory of the protoplanetary disk, is a key ingredient regulating the structure of planetary systems.

  19. The Effect of Varying Atmospheric Pressure upon Habitability and Biosignatures of Earth-like Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keles, Engin; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Stracke, Barbara; Rauer, Heike

    2018-02-01

    Understanding the possible climatic conditions on rocky extrasolar planets, and thereby their potential habitability, is one of the major subjects of exoplanet research. Determining how the climate, as well as potential atmospheric biosignatures, changes under different conditions is a key aspect when studying Earth-like exoplanets. One important property is the atmospheric mass, hence pressure and its influence on the climatic conditions. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to understand the influence of atmospheric mass on climate, hence habitability, and the spectral appearance of planets with Earth-like, that is, N 2 -O 2 dominated, atmospheres orbiting the Sun at 1 AU. This work utilizes a 1D coupled, cloud-free, climate-photochemical atmospheric column model; varies atmospheric surface pressure from 0.5 to 30 bar; and investigates temperature and key species profiles, as well as emission and brightness temperature spectra in a range between 2 and 20 μm. Increasing the surface pressure up to 4 bar leads to an increase in the surface temperature due to increased greenhouse warming. Above this point, Rayleigh scattering dominates, and the surface temperature decreases, reaching surface temperatures below 273 K (approximately at ∼34 bar surface pressure). For ozone, nitrous oxide, water, methane, and carbon dioxide, the spectral response either increases with surface temperature or pressure depending on the species. Masking effects occur, for example, for the bands of the biosignatures ozone and nitrous oxide by carbon dioxide, which could be visible in low carbon dioxide atmospheres. Key Words: Planetary habitability and biosignatures-Atmospheres-Radiative transfer. Astrobiology 18, 116-132.

  20. Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Using SOFIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

    Topics include: the landscape of extrasolar planets, why focus on transiting planets, some history and Spitzer results, problems in atmospheric structure or hot Jupiters and hot super Earths, what observations are needed to make progress, and what SOFIA can currently do and comments on optimized instruments.

  1. Earth as art three

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2010-01-01

    For most of us, deserts, mountains, river valleys, coastlines even dry lakebeds are relatively familiar features of the Earth's terrestrial environment. For earth scientists, they are the focus of considerable scientific research. Viewed from a unique and unconventional perspective, Earth's geographic attributes can also be a surprising source of awe-inspiring art. That unique perspective is space. The artists for the Earth as Art Three exhibit are the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites, which orbit approximately 705 kilometers (438 miles) above the Earth's surface. While studying the images these satellites beam down daily, researchers are often struck by the sheer beauty of the scenes. Such images inspire the imagination and go beyond scientific value to remind us how stunning, intricate, and simply amazing our planet's features can be. Instead of paint, the medium for these works of art is light. But Landsat satellite sensors don't see light as human eyes do; instead, they see radiant energy reflected from Earth's surface in certain wavelengths, or bands, of red, green, blue, and infrared light. When these different bands are combined into a single image, remarkable patterns, colors, and shapes emerge. The Earth as Art Three exhibit provides fresh and inspiring glimpses of different parts of our planet's complex surface. The images in this collection were chosen solely based on their aesthetic appeal. Many of the images have been manipulated to enhance color variations or details. They are not intended for scientific interpretation only for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

  2. Kepler's first rocky planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Batalha, N.M.; Borucki, W.J.; Bryson, S.T.

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission uses transit photometry to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The mission reached a milestone toward meeting that goal: the discovery of its first rocky planet, Kepler-10b. Two distinct sets of transit events were...... tests on the photometric and pixel flux time series established the viability of the planet candidates triggering ground-based follow-up observations. Forty precision Doppler measurements were used to confirm that the short-period transit event is due to a planetary companion. The parent star is bright...

  3. Worlds beyond our own the search for habitable planets

    CERN Document Server

    Sengupta, Sujan

    2015-01-01

    This is a book on planets: Solar system planets and dwarf planets. And planets outside our solar system – exoplanets. How did they form? What types of planets are there and what do they have in common? How do they differ? What do we know about their atmospheres – if they have one? What are the conditions for life and on which planets may they be met? And what’s the origin of life on Earth and how did it form? You will understand how rare the solar system, the Earth and hence life is. This is also a book on stars. The first and second generation of stars in the Universe. But in particular also on the link between planets and stars – brown dwarfs. Their atmospheric properties and similarities with giant exoplanets. All these fascinating questions will be answered in a non-technical manner. But those of you who want to know a bit more may look up the relevant mathematical relationships in appendices.

  4. Immersive Earth: Teaching Earth and Space with inexpensive immersive technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiff, P. H.; Sumners, C.; Law, C. C.; Handron, K.

    2003-12-01

    In 1995 we pioneered "Space Update", the Digital Library for the rest of us", software that was so simple that a child could use it without a keyboard and yet would allow one-click updating of the daily earth and space science images without the dangers of having an open web browser on display. Thanks to NASA support, it allowed museums and schools to have a powerful exhibit for a tiny price. Over 40,000 disks in our series have been distributed so far to educators and the public. In 2003, with our partners we are again revolutionizing educational technology with a low-cost hardware and software solution to creating and displaying immersive content. Recently selected for funding as part of the REASoN competition, Immersive Earth is a partnership of scientists, museums, educators, and content providers. The hardware consists of a modest projector with a special fisheye lens to be used in an inflatable dome which many schools already have. This, coupled with a modest personal computer, can now easily project images and movies of earth and space, allows training students in 3-D content at a tiny fraction of the cost of a cave or fullscale dome theater. Another low-cost solution is the "Imove" system, where spherical movies can play on a personal computer, with the user changing the viewing direction with a joystick. We were the first to create immersive earth science shows, remain the leader in creating educational content that people want to see. We encourage people with "allsky" images or movies to bring it and see what it looks like inside a dome! Your content could be in our next show!

  5. Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podolak, Morris

    2018-04-01

    Modern observational techniques are still not powerful enough to directly view planet formation, and so it is necessary to rely on theory. However, observations do give two important clues to the formation process. The first is that the most primitive form of material in interstellar space exists as a dilute gas. Some of this gas is unstable against gravitational collapse, and begins to contract. Because the angular momentum of the gas is not zero, it contracts along the spin axis, but remains extended in the plane perpendicular to that axis, so that a disk is formed. Viscous processes in the disk carry most of the mass into the center where a star eventually forms. In the process, almost as a by-product, a planetary system is formed as well. The second clue is the time required. Young stars are indeed observed to have gas disks, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, surrounding them, and observations tell us that these disks dissipate after about 5 to 10 million years. If planets like Jupiter and Saturn, which are very rich in hydrogen and helium, are to form in such a disk, they must accrete their gas within 5 million years of the time of the formation of the disk. Any formation scenario one proposes must produce Jupiter in that time, although the terrestrial planets, which don't contain significant amounts of hydrogen and helium, could have taken longer to build. Modern estimates for the formation time of the Earth are of the order of 100 million years. To date there are two main candidate theories for producing Jupiter-like planets. The core accretion (CA) scenario supposes that any solid materials in the disk slowly coagulate into protoplanetary cores with progressively larger masses. If the core remains small enough it won't have a strong enough gravitational force to attract gas from the surrounding disk, and the result will be a terrestrial planet. If the core grows large enough (of the order of ten Earth masses), and the disk has not yet dissipated, then

  6. Preliminary feasibility assessment for Earth-to-space electromagnetic (Railgun) launchers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, E. E.; Miller, L. A.; Earhart, R. W.

    1982-01-01

    An Earth to space electromagnetic (railgun) launcher (ESRL) for launching material into space was studied. Potential ESRL applications were identified and initially assessed to formulate preliminary system requirements. The potential applications included nuclear waste disposal in space, Earth orbital applications, deep space probe launchers, atmospheric research, and boost of chemical rockets. The ESRL system concept consisted of two separate railgun launcher tubes (one at 20 deg from the horizontal for Earth orbital missions, the other vertical for solar system escape disposal missions) powered by a common power plant. Each 2040 m launcher tube is surrounded by 10,200 homopolar generator/inductor units to transmit the power to the walls. Projectile masses are 6500 kg for Earth orbital missions and 2055 kg for nuclear waste disposal missions. For the Earth orbital missions, the projectile requires a propulsion system, leaving an estimated payload mass of 650 kg. For the nuclear waste disposal in space mission, the high level waste mass was estimated at 250 kg. This preliminary assessment included technical, environmental, and economic analyses.

  7. Space station astronauts discuss life in space during AGU interview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-07-01

    Just one day after China's Shenzhou-9 capsule, carrying three Chinese astronauts, docked with the Tiangong-1 space lab on 18 June, Donald Pettit, a NASA astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS), said it is “a step in the right direction” that more people are in space. “Before they launched, there were six people in space,” he said, referring to those on ISS, “and there are 7 billion people on Earth.” The astronauts were “like one in a billion. Now there are nine people in space,” Pettit said during a 19 June interview that he and two other astronauts onboard ISS had with AGU. Pettit continued, “So the gradient of human beings going into space is moving in the right direction. We need to change these numbers so that more and more human beings can call space their home so we can expand off of planet Earth and move out into our solar system.”

  8. Guide to the universe inner planets

    CERN Document Server

    Grier, Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    This volume in the Greenwood Guides to the Universe series covers the inner planets-Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Thematic chapters discuss all of the many areas of astronomical research surrounding each subject, providing readers with the most up-to-date understanding of current knowledge and the ways in which it has been obtained. Like all of the books in this series, Inner Planets is scientifically sound, but written with the student in mind. It is an excellent first step for researching the exciting scientific discoveries of the Earth and its closest neighbors.

  9. Alpha Centauri's siren call has frustrated planet hunters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clery, Daniel

    2018-04-01

    Alpha Centauri, a three-star system just 4 light-years away that is the sun's nearest neighbor, ought to be a great place to look for Earth-like planets. But last week, at a meeting of the European Astronomical Society here, astronomers lamented that the system has so far thwarted discovery efforts—and announced new schemes to probe it. The two sunlike stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, orbit each other closely while Proxima Centauri, a tempestuous red dwarf, hangs onto the system tenuously in a much more distant orbit. In 2016, astronomers discovered an Earth-mass planet around Proxima Centauri, but few think the planet, blasted by radiation and fierce stellar winds, is habitable. Astrobiologists believe the other two stars are more likely to host temperate, Earth-like worlds.

  10. Characterizing the Purple Earth: Modeling the globally integrated spectral variability of the Archean Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.; López, R.; Montañés-Rodríguez, P.; Parenteau, M. N.; Kiang, N. Y.; Gutiérrez-Navarro, A. M.

    2014-01-01

    Ongoing searches for exoplanetary systems have revealed a wealth of planets with diverse physical properties. Planets even smaller than the Earth have already been detected and the efforts of future missions are aimed at the discovery, and perhaps characterization, of small rocky exoplanets within the habitable zone of their stars. Clearly, what we know about our planet will be our guideline for the characterization of such planets. However, the Earth has been inhabited for at least 3.8 Gyr and its appearance has changed with time. Here, we have studied the Earth during the Archean eon, 3.0 Gyr ago. At that time, one of the more widespread life forms on the planet was purple bacteria. These bacteria are photosynthetic microorganisms and can inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Here, we use a radiative transfer model to simulate the visible and near-infrared radiation reflected by our planet, taking into account several scenarios regarding the possible distribution of purple bacteria over continents and oceans. We find that purple bacteria have a reflectance spectrum that has a strong reflectivity increase, similar to the red edge of leafy plants, although shifted redward. This feature produces a detectable signal in the disk-averaged spectra of our planet, depending on cloud amount and purple bacteria concentration/distribution. We conclude that by using multi-color photometric observations, it is possible to distinguish between an Archean Earth in which purple bacteria inhabit vast extensions of the planet and a present-day Earth with continents covered by deserts, vegetation, or microbial mats.

  11. A Model of the Temporal Variability of Optical Light from Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    OpenAIRE

    Ford, Eric B.; Seager, Sara; Turner, Edwin L.

    2002-01-01

    The light scattered by an extrasolar Earth-like planet's surface and atmosphere will vary in intensity and color as the planet rotates; the resulting light curve will contain information about the planet's properties. Since most of the light comes from a small fraction of the planet's surface, the temporal flux variability can be quite significant, $\\sim$ 10-100%. In addition, for cloudless Earth-like extrasolar planet models, qualitative changes to the surface (such as ocean fraction, ice co...

  12. MAKING PLANET NINE: A SCATTERED GIANT IN THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Correlations in the orbits of several minor planets in the outer solar system suggest the presence of a remote, massive Planet Nine. With at least 10 times the mass of the Earth and a perihelion well beyond 100 au, Planet Nine poses a challenge to planet formation theory. Here we expand on a scenario in which the planet formed closer to the Sun and was gravitationally scattered by Jupiter or Saturn onto a very eccentric orbit in an extended gaseous disk. Dynamical friction with the gas then allowed the planet to settle in the outer solar system. We explore this possibility with a set of numerical simulations. Depending on how the gas disk evolves, scattered super-Earths or small gas giants settle on a range of orbits, with perihelion distances as large as 300 au. Massive disks that clear from the inside out on million-year timescales yield orbits that allow a super-Earth or gas giant to shepherd the minor planets as observed. A massive planet can achieve a similar orbit in a persistent, low-mass disk over the lifetime of the solar system.

  13. MAKING PLANET NINE: A SCATTERED GIANT IN THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bromley, Benjamin C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 South 1400 East, Room 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Kenyon, Scott J., E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2016-07-20

    Correlations in the orbits of several minor planets in the outer solar system suggest the presence of a remote, massive Planet Nine. With at least 10 times the mass of the Earth and a perihelion well beyond 100 au, Planet Nine poses a challenge to planet formation theory. Here we expand on a scenario in which the planet formed closer to the Sun and was gravitationally scattered by Jupiter or Saturn onto a very eccentric orbit in an extended gaseous disk. Dynamical friction with the gas then allowed the planet to settle in the outer solar system. We explore this possibility with a set of numerical simulations. Depending on how the gas disk evolves, scattered super-Earths or small gas giants settle on a range of orbits, with perihelion distances as large as 300 au. Massive disks that clear from the inside out on million-year timescales yield orbits that allow a super-Earth or gas giant to shepherd the minor planets as observed. A massive planet can achieve a similar orbit in a persistent, low-mass disk over the lifetime of the solar system.

  14. Making Planet Nine: A Scattered Giant in the Outer Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2016-07-01

    Correlations in the orbits of several minor planets in the outer solar system suggest the presence of a remote, massive Planet Nine. With at least 10 times the mass of the Earth and a perihelion well beyond 100 au, Planet Nine poses a challenge to planet formation theory. Here we expand on a scenario in which the planet formed closer to the Sun and was gravitationally scattered by Jupiter or Saturn onto a very eccentric orbit in an extended gaseous disk. Dynamical friction with the gas then allowed the planet to settle in the outer solar system. We explore this possibility with a set of numerical simulations. Depending on how the gas disk evolves, scattered super-Earths or small gas giants settle on a range of orbits, with perihelion distances as large as 300 au. Massive disks that clear from the inside out on million-year timescales yield orbits that allow a super-Earth or gas giant to shepherd the minor planets as observed. A massive planet can achieve a similar orbit in a persistent, low-mass disk over the lifetime of the solar system.

  15. Earth Observation from Space - The Issue of Environmental Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durrieu, Sylvie; Nelson, Ross F.

    2013-01-01

    Remote sensing scientists work under assumptions that should not be taken for granted and should, therefore, be challenged. These assumptions include the following: 1. Space, especially Low Earth Orbit (LEO), will always be available to governmental and commercial space entities that launch Earth remote sensing missions. 2. Space launches are benign with respect to environmental impacts. 3. Minimization of Type 1 error, which provides increased confidence in the experimental outcome, is the best way to assess the significance of environmental change. 4. Large-area remote sensing investigations, i.e. national, continental, global studies, are best done from space. 5. National space missions should trump international, cooperative space missions to ensure national control and distribution of the data products. At best, all of these points are arguable, and in some cases, they're wrong. Development of observational space systems that are compatible with sustainability principles should be a primary concern when Earth remote sensing space systems are envisioned, designed, and launched. The discussion is based on the hypothesis that reducing the environmental impacts of thedata acquisition step,which is at the very beginning of the information streamleading to decision and action, will enhance coherence in the information streamand strengthen the capacity of measurement processes to meet their stated functional goal, i.e. sustainable management of Earth resources. We suggest that unconventional points of view should be adopted and when appropriate, remedial measures considered that could help to reduce the environmental footprint of space remote sensing and of Earth observation and monitoring systems in general. This article discusses these five assumptions inthe contextof sustainablemanagementof Earth's resources. Takingeachassumptioninturn,we find the following: (1) Space debris may limit access to Low Earth Orbit over the next decades. (2) Relatively speaking, given

  16. Kepler Mission: A Wide-FOV Photometer Designed to Determine the Frequency of Earth-Size and Larger Planets Around Solar-like stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Lissauer, Jack; Basri, Gibor; Caldwell, John; Cochran, William; Dunham, Edward W.; Gilliland, Ronald; Jenkins, Jon M.; Caldwell, Douglas; hide

    2002-01-01

    The first step in discovering the extent of life in our galaxy is to determine the number of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (HZ). The Kepler Mission is designed around a 0.95 m aperture Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. Measurements of the depth and repetition time of transits provide the size of the planet relative to the star and its orbital period. When combined with ground-based spectroscopy of these stars to fix the stellar parameters, the true planet radius and orbit scale, hence the position relative to the HZ are determined. These spectra are also used to discover the relationships between the characteristics of planets and the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of terrestrial planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ occur in less than 1% of the stars and that life might be quite rare. Based on the results of the current doppler-velocity discoveries, detection of a thousand giant planets is expected. Information on their albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained.

  17. RFI and Remote Sensing of the Earth from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Vine, D. M.; Johnson, J. T.; Piepmeier, J.

    2016-01-01

    Passive microwave remote sensing of the Earth from space provides information essential for understanding the Earth's environment and its evolution. Parameters such as soil moisture, sea surface temperature and salinity, and profiles of atmospheric temperature and humidity are measured at frequencies determined by the physics (e.g. sensitivity to changes in desired parameters) and by the availability of suitable spectrum free from interference. Interference from manmade sources (radio frequency interference) is an impediment that in many cases limits the potential for accurate measurements from space. A review is presented here of the frequencies employed in passive microwave remote sensing of the Earth from space and the associated experience with RFI.

  18. Developing Earth and Space Scientists for the Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manduca, Cathryn A.; Cifuentes, Inés

    2007-09-01

    As the world's largest organization of Earth and space scientists, AGU safeguards the future of pioneering research by ensuring that ``the number and diversity of Earth and space scientists continue to grow through the flow of young talent into the field'' (AGU Strategic Plan 2008, Goal IV). Achieving this goal is the focus of the AGU Committee on Education and Human Resources (CEHR), one of the Union's three outreach committees.

  19. 50-Year Window to Establish a Space Faring Civilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, A. Scott

    2015-01-01

    Humankind may only have a short window of 50 years to become a space-faring civilization, after which time the opportunity to do so may become too difficult or impractical to pursue. Current policies for space exploration and infrastructure development implicitly assume a gradualistic approach to technology, budgets, and mission execution -- the common thought has been that there will be plenty of time in humankind's future to become a space-based species, and whatever we are unable to accomplish will be borne by the generations that follow. However, considering natural events, available energy, and human tendencies, the timing to make the most effective effort to achieve multi-planet status might be now, before momentum is lost and we become distracted by Peak Oil and changing energy economies -- restarting a space program after such turmoil may be more difficult than would be practical without cheap, storable, high-energy density petroleum. "Space-faring civilization" is defined as an economically profitable space-based economy that demands the presence of humans off-world in order to sustain a high level of prosperity. An initial foothold for a space-based economy that would fit within the 50-year window might include Earth dependence on rare-earth elements or other hard-to-obtain minerals mined from moons or asteroids, or a permanent settlement on another planet. Using published sources, notional mass and energy requirements for a minimal self-sustaining Mars settlement is calculated, and the number of launch vehicles discussed. Setting the launch schedule to match that of current NASA projections, it could take more than 26 years of semi-annual launches to build up such a self-sustaining human settlement -- a cost and commitment that has not been acknowledged nor planned for. Considering the time required to establish a multi-planet species, this paper frames the required window of decision that, if not taken, could condemn the species to Earth subject to

  20. Preservation of Near-Earth Space for Future Generations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, John A.

    2007-05-01

    List of contributors; Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1. Introduction J. A. Simpson; Part II. Defining the Problem: 2. The Earth satellite population: official growth and constituents Nicholas L. Johnson; 3. The current and future environment: an overall assessment Donald J. Kessler; 4. The current and future space debris environment as assessed in Europe Dietrich Rex; 5. Human survivability issues in the low Earth orbit space debris environment Bernard Bloom; 6. Protecting the space environment for astronomy Joel R. Primack; 7. Effects of space debris on commercial spacecraft - the RADARSAT example H. Robert Warren and M. J. Yelle; 8. Potential effects of the space debris environment on military space systems Albert E. Reinhardt; Part III. Mitigation of and Adaptation to the Space Environment: Techniques and Practices: 9. Precluding post-launch fragmentation of delta stages Irvin J. Webster and T. Y. Kawamura; 10. US international and interagency cooperation in orbital debris Daniel V. Jacobs; 11. ESA concepts for space debris mitigation and risk reduction Heiner Klinkrad; 12. Space debris: how France handles mitigation and adaptation Jean-Louis Marcé; 13. Facing seriously the issue of protection of the outer space environment Qi Yong Liang; 14. Space debris - mitigation and adaptation U. R. Rao; 15. Near Earth space contamination and counteractions Vladimir F. Utkin and S. V. Chekalin; 16. The current and future space debris environment as assessed in Japan Susumu Toda; 17. Orbital debris minimization and mitigation techniques Joseph P. Loftus Jr, Philip D. Anz-Meador and Robert Reynolds; Part IV. Economic Issues: 18. In pursuit of a sustainable space environment: economic issues in regulating space debris Molly K. Macauley; 19. The economics of space operations: insurance aspects Christopher T. W. Kunstadter; Part V. Legal Issues: 20. Environmental treatymaking: lessons learned for controlling pollution of outer space Winfried Lang; 21. Regulation of orbital

  1. Dynamic Effects of the Earth's Rotation Caused by the Annual and Semi-Annual Cyclic Mass Redistribution of the Planet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Yu. Barkin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper deals with development of the theory of perturbed rotational motion of a celestial body with variable geometry of the masses. Its main task is to study the impact of annual and semi-annual variations of the Earth's mass geometry (a component of its inertia tensor, as well as a component of its relative angular momentum, on the movement of the Earth's poles and its axial rotation. The body is considered to be a free (isolated, and the problem formulation corresponds to the classical Liouville problem on rotation of a variable body. Euler conical movement of the axially symmetric body with an arbitrary constant half-angle  is assumed as the unperturbed motion. In the classical theory of the Earth's rotation this angle is usually assumed to be zero.In the last 20 years, accuracy to determine the Earth rotation parameters owing to using methods of space geodesy and method of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI has increased by about three orders of magnitude and has made about  i.e., in angle measure it is about 10 - 20 arc-microseconds. According to experts, the theory of the Earth's rotation with such precision is not created yet. The paper is focused just on the new dynamic studies of the Earth rotation at a higher level of accuracy than has been done in previous studies, using a new approach to the problem, based on the new forms of the equations of motion (in the Andoyer variables and the analytical methods of perturbation theory (small parameter method.The problem of perturbed rotational motion with variable geometry and variable mass relative angular momentum in the first approximation is solved in Andoyer variables and projections of the angular velocity of the planet rotation. The analytical solution allows us to run applications to study dynamic effects from above factors for various bodies in the solar system, including the Earth. The solution allowed us to obtain the following parameters of the fundamental effects in the

  2. Discover Earth: an earth system science program for libraries and their communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusenbery, P.

    2011-12-01

    The view from space has deepened our understanding of Earth as a global, dynamic system. Instruments on satellites and spacecraft, coupled with advances in ground-based research, have provided us with astonishing new perspectives of our planet. Now more than ever, enhancing the public's understanding of Earth's physical and biological systems is vital to helping citizens make informed policy decisions especially when they are faced with the consequences of global climate change. While the focus for education reform is on school improvement, there is considerable research that supports the role that out-of-school experiences can play in student achievement. Libraries provide an untapped resource for engaging underserved youth and their families in fostering an appreciation and deeper understanding of science and technology topics. The Space Science Institute's National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA), the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), and the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) have received funding from NSF to develop a national project called the STAR Library Education Network: a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities (or STAR-Net for short). STAR stands for Science-Technology, Activities and Resources. STAR-Net includes two exhibitions: Discover Earth and Discover Tech. The Discover Earth exhibition will focus on local earth science topics-such as weather, water cycle, and ecosystem changes-as well as a global view of our changing planet. The main take-away message (or Big Idea) for this exhibition is that the global environment changes - and is changed by - the host community's local environment. The project team is testing whether this approach will be a good strategy for engaging the public, especially in rural America. This presentation will provide an overview of the Discover Earth project and how it is integrating climate change ideas into the exhibit

  3. Space life sciences: A status report

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-01-01

    The scientific research and supporting technology development conducted in the Space Life Sciences Program is described. Accomplishments of the past year are highlighted. Plans for future activities are outlined. Some specific areas of study include the following: Crew health and safety; What happens to humans in space; Gravity, life, and space; Sustenance in space; Life and planet Earth; Life in the Universe; Promoting good science and good will; Building a future for the space life sciences; and Benefits of space life sciences research.

  4. The hottest planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph; Luszcz, Statia; Seager, Sara; Deming, Drake; Richardson, L Jeremy

    2007-06-07

    Of the over 200 known extrasolar planets, just 14 pass in front of and behind their parent stars as seen from Earth. This fortuitous geometry allows direct determination of many planetary properties. Previous reports of planetary thermal emission give fluxes that are roughly consistent with predictions based on thermal equilibrium with the planets' received radiation, assuming a Bond albedo of approximately 0.3. Here we report direct detection of thermal emission from the smallest known transiting planet, HD 149026b, that indicates a brightness temperature (an expression of flux) of 2,300 +/- 200 K at 8 microm. The planet's predicted temperature for uniform, spherical, blackbody emission and zero albedo (unprecedented for planets) is 1,741 K. As models with non-zero albedo are cooler, this essentially eliminates uniform blackbody models, and may also require an albedo lower than any measured for a planet, very strong 8 microm emission, strong temporal variability, or a heat source other than stellar radiation. On the other hand, an instantaneous re-emission blackbody model, in which each patch of surface area instantly re-emits all received light, matches the data. This planet is known to be enriched in heavy elements, which may give rise to novel atmospheric properties yet to be investigated.

  5. A Spitzer search for transits of radial velocity detected super-Earths

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kammer, J. A.; Knutson, H. A.; Desert, J.-M. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Howard, A. W. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Laughlin, G. P.; Fortney, J. J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Deming, D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Todorov, K. O. [Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich, CH-8093 Zürich (Switzerland); Agol, E. [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Burrows, A. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Showman, A. P. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Lewis, N. K., E-mail: jkammer@caltech.edu [Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2014-02-01

    Unlike hot Jupiters or other gas giants, super-Earths are expected to have a wide variety of compositions, ranging from terrestrial bodies like our own to more gaseous planets like Neptune. Observations of transiting systems, which allow us to directly measure planet masses and radii and constrain atmospheric properties, are key to understanding the compositional diversity of the planets in this mass range. Although Kepler has discovered hundreds of transiting super-Earth candidates over the past 4 yr, the majority of these planets orbit stars that are too far away and too faint to allow for detailed atmospheric characterization and reliable mass estimates. Ground-based transit surveys focus on much brighter stars, but most lack the sensitivity to detect planets in this size range. One way to get around the difficulty of finding these smaller planets in transit is to start by choosing targets that are already known to host super-Earth sized bodies detected using the radial velocity (RV) technique. Here we present results from a Spitzer program to observe six of the most favorable RV-detected super-Earth systems, including HD 1461, HD 7924, HD 156668, HIP 57274, and GJ 876. We find no evidence for transits in any of their 4.5 μm flux light curves, and place limits on the allowed transit depths and corresponding planet radii that rule out even the most dense and iron-rich compositions for these objects. We also observed HD 97658, but the observation window was based on a possible ground-based transit detection that was later ruled out; thus the window did not include the predicted time for the transit detection recently made by the Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars space telescope.

  6. NASA's Earth science flight program status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neeck, Steven P.; Volz, Stephen M.

    2010-10-01

    NASA's strategic goal to "advance scientific understanding of the changing Earth system to meet societal needs" continues the agency's legacy of expanding human knowledge of the Earth through space activities, as mandated by the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. Over the past 50 years, NASA has been the world leader in developing space-based Earth observing systems and capabilities that have fundamentally changed our view of our planet and have defined Earth system science. The U.S. National Research Council report "Earth Observations from Space: The First 50 Years of Scientific Achievements" published in 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences articulates those key achievements and the evolution of the space observing capabilities, looking forward to growing potential to address Earth science questions and enable an abundance of practical applications. NASA's Earth science program is an end-to-end one that encompasses the development of observational techniques and the instrument technology needed to implement them. This includes laboratory testing and demonstration from surface, airborne, or space-based platforms; research to increase basic process knowledge; incorporation of results into complex computational models to more fully characterize the present state and future evolution of the Earth system; and development of partnerships with national and international organizations that can use the generated information in environmental forecasting and in policy, business, and management decisions. Currently, NASA's Earth Science Division (ESD) has 14 operating Earth science space missions with 6 in development and 18 under study or in technology risk reduction. Two Tier 2 Decadal Survey climate-focused missions, Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days and Seasons (ASCENDS) and Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT), have been identified in conjunction with the U.S. Global Change Research Program and initiated for launch in the 2019

  7. Studying the Earth from space

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    1981-01-01

    Space age technology contains a key to increased knowledge about the Earth's resources; this key is remote sensing detecting the nature or condition of something without actually touching it. An early and still most useful form of remote sensing is photography which records the

  8. CHARACTERIZING THE ATMOSPHERES OF TRANSITING ROCKY PLANETS AROUND LATE-TYPE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palle, E.; Garcia Munoz, A.; Zosorio, M. R. Zapatero

    2011-01-01

    Visible and near-infrared spectra of transiting hot Jupiter planets have recently been observed, revealing some of the atmospheric constituents of their atmospheres. In the near future, it is probable that primary and secondary eclipse observations of Earth-like rocky planets will also be achieved. The characterization of Earth's transmission spectrum has shown that both major and trace atmospheric constituents may present strong absorption features, including important bio-markers such as water, oxygen, and methane. Our simulations using a recently published empirical Earth's transmission spectrum, and the stellar spectra for a variety of stellar types, indicate that the new generation of extremely large telescopes, such as the proposed 42 m European Extremely Large Telescope, could be capable of retrieving the transmission spectrum of an Earth-like planet around very cool stars and brown dwarfs (T eff ≤ ∼3100 K). For a twin of Earth around a star with T eff ∼ 3100 K (M4), for example, the spectral features of H 2 O, CH 4 , CO 2 , and O 2 in the wavelength range between 0.9 and 2.4 μm can simultaneously be detected within 100 hr of observing time, or even less for a late-M star. Such detection would constitute proof for the existence of life in that planet. The detection time can be reduced to a few hours for a super-Earth type of planet with twice Earth's radius.

  9. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets . XXXII. New multi-planet systems in the HARPS volume limited sample: a super-Earth and a Neptune in the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo Curto, G.; Mayor, M.; Benz, W.; Bouchy, F.; Hébrard, G.; Lovis, C.; Moutou, C.; Naef, D.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S.

    2013-03-01

    The vast diversity of planetary systems detected to date is defying our capability of understanding their formation and evolution. Well-defined volume-limited surveys are the best tool at our disposal to tackle the problem, via the acquisition of robust statistics of the orbital elements. We are using the HARPS spectrograph to conduct our survey of ≈850 nearby solar-type stars, and in the course of the past nine years we have monitored the radial velocity of HD 103774, HD 109271, and BD-061339. In this work we present the detection of five planets orbiting these stars, with msin (i) between 0.6 and 7 Neptune masses, four of which are in two multiple systems, comprising one super-Earth and one planet within the habitable zone of a late-type dwarf. Although for strategic reasons we chose efficiency over precision in this survey, we have the capability to detect planets down to the Neptune and super-Earth mass range as well as multiple systems, provided that enough data points are made available. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at La Silla (Chile), under the GTO program ID 072.C-0488 and the regular programs: 085.C-0019, 087.C-0831 and 089.C-0732. RV data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/551/A59

  10. [Anthropogenic sources of radiation hazard in the near-Earth space].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedoseev, G A

    2004-01-01

    All plausible artificial radioactive sources entering the near-Earth space (NES) were systematized and consequences of various large radiation accidents and catastrophes to Earth and NES were analyzed. Aggressive "population" of near-Earth orbits by space stations with rotating crews, unmanned research platforms and observatories extends "borderlines" of the noosphere raising at the same time concerns about the noosphere radiation safety and global radioecology. Specifically, consideration is given to the facts of negative effects of space power reactor facilities on results of orbital astrophysical investigations.

  11. Extrasolar planets searches today and tomorrow

    CERN Multimedia

    2000-01-01

    So far the searches for extrasolar planets have found 40 planetary companions orbiting around nearby stars. In December 1999 a transit has been observed for one of them, providing the first independent confirmation of the reality of close-in planets as well as a measurement of its density. The techniques used to detect planets are limited and the detection threshold is biased but a first picture of the planet diversity and distribution emerges. Results of the search for extra-solar planets and their impacts on planetary formation will be reviewed. Future instruments are foreseen to detect Earth-like planets and possible signatures of organic activity. An overview of these future projects will be presented and more particularly the Darwin-IRSI mission studied by ESA for Horizon 2015.

  12. Observing the Anthropocene from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittus, Hansjörg

    2016-07-01

    Influence of mankind on Earth's climate is evident. The growing population using the resources available, especially by burning goal, oil and gas, changes the composition of the Earth's atmosphere with the result of a continuously increasing temperature. Effects are not limited to the regional scale but are evident on the whole planet, meanwhile named Anthropocene. According to this global influence, it's necessary to also extend monitoring to the entire planet. Space-based observation systems are not limited by any artificial borders and are in principle able, to cover the whole Earth. In principle, two different ways of observation can be selected: Either a dedicated spacecraft will be send into low earth orbit (LEO) or existing platforms are used. Advantages of satellites are the more or less freely selectable orbit (with orbits covering also the polar regions) and the possible adaption of spacecraft platform for the dedicated instrument. On the other hand platforms like the ISS space station enable continuous long term coverage with different instruments. The drawback of an only limited coverage based on the orbit inclination is made up by the possibility to service systems on the station. Furthermore different generations of sensors can be run in parallel and therefore cross calibrated if needed. This paper reviews the currently available sensors types and discusses potential future needs. Included in this discussion is the international space station as an already available platform for earth observation. Furthermore, discussion should also take into account, that an increasing number of constellations with dozens or even thousand satellites are planned. Are these constellations also an option for an increased temporal and spatial monitoring of the Earth?

  13. Extraterrestrial organic chemistry: from the interstellar medium to the origins of life. Part 2: complex organic chemistry in the environment of planets and satellites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raulin, F; Kobayashi, K

    2001-01-01

    During COSPAR'00 in Warsaw, Poland, in the frame of Sub-Commission F.3 events (Planetary Biology and Origins of Life), part of COSPAR Commission F (Life Sciences as Related to Space), and Commission B events (Space Studies of the Earth-Moon System, Planets, and Small Bodies of the Solar System) a large joint symposium (F.3.4/B0.8) was held on extraterrestrial organic chemistry. Part 2 of this symposium was devoted to complex organic chemistry in the environment of planets and satellites. The aim of this event was to cover and review new data which have been recently obtained and to give new insights on data which are expected in the near future to increase our knowledge of the complex organic chemistry occurring in several planets and satellites of the Solar System, outside the earth, and their implications for exobiology and life in the universe. The event was composed of two main parts. The first part was mainly devoted to the inner planets and Europa and the search for signatures of life or organics in those environments. The second part was related to the study of the outer solar system.

  14. Apparent Relations Between Solar Activity and Solar Tides Caused by the Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Ching-Cheh

    2007-01-01

    A solar storm is a storm of ions and electrons from the Sun. Large solar storms are usually preceded by solar flares, phenomena that can be characterized quantitatively from Earth. Twenty-five of the thirty-eight largest known solar flares were observed to start when one or more tide-producing planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Jupiter) were either nearly above the event positions (less than 10 deg. longitude) or at the opposing side of the Sun. The probability for this to happen at random is 0.039 percent. This supports the hypothesis that the force or momentum balance (between the solar atmospheric pressure, the gravity field, and magnetic field) on plasma in the looping magnetic field lines in solar corona could be disturbed by tides, resulting in magnetic field reconnection, solar flares, and solar storms. Separately, from the daily position data of Venus, Earth, and Jupiter, an 11-year planet alignment cycle is observed to approximately match the sunspot cycle. This observation supports the hypothesis that the resonance and beat between the solar tide cycle and nontidal solar activity cycle influences the sunspot cycle and its varying magnitudes. The above relations between the unpredictable solar flares and the predictable solar tidal effects could be used and further developed to forecast the dangerous space weather and therefore reduce its destructive power against the humans in space and satellites controlling mobile phones and global positioning satellite (GPS) systems.

  15. Optimal Electric Field Estimation for Exoplanet Imaging Observatories in Space

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The discovery and characterization of Earth-like planets around other stars is a high priority in modern astronomy. While over 900 confirmed exoplanets have been...

  16. Which Type of Planets do We Expect to Observe in the Habitable Zone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adibekyan, Vardan; Figueira, Pedro; Santos, Nuno C

    2016-11-01

    We used a sample of super-Earth-like planets detected by the Doppler spectroscopy and transit techniques to explore the dependence of orbital parameters of the planets on the metallicity of their host stars. We confirm the previous results (although still based on small samples of planets) that super-Earths orbiting around metal-rich stars are not observed to be as distant from their host stars as we observe their metal-poor counterparts to be. The orbits of these super-Earths with metal-rich hosts usually do not reach into the Habitable Zone (HZ), keeping them very hot and inhabitable. We found that most of the known planets in the HZ are orbiting their GK-type hosts which are metal-poor. The metal-poor nature of planets in the HZ suggests a high Mg abundance relative to Si and high Si abundance relative to Fe. These results lead us to speculate that HZ planets might be more frequent in the ancient Galaxy and had compositions different from that of our Earth.

  17. Spaceship earth: take your classroom into space

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartevelt, S.; van den Putte, W.; Wamsteker, J.; de Vet, S.; van Loon, J.J.W.A.; Celton, E.; Savage, N.D.L.

    2012-01-01

    Schools in Europe actively participated in the educational project "Spaceship Earth", part of ESA astronaut André Kuipers’ PromISSe mission. The initiative, conceptualized by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) also involved a unique collaboration of a team

  18. Beyond the principle of plentitude: a review of terrestrial planet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, E; Deschenes, B; Dundon, L; Fagan, K; Menviel-Hessler, L; Moskovitz, N; Workman, M

    2005-04-01

    We review recent work that directly or indirectly addresses the habitability of terrestrial (rocky) planets like the Earth. Habitability has been traditionally defined in terms of an orbital semimajor axis within a range known as the habitable zone, but it is also well known that the habitability of Earth is due to many other astrophysical, geological, and geochemical factors. We focus this review on (1) recent refinements to habitable zone calculations; (2) the formation and orbital stability of terrestrial planets; (3) the tempo and mode of geologic activity (e.g., plate tectonics) on terrestrial planets; (4) the delivery of water to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone; and (5) the acquisition and loss of terrestrial planet carbon and nitrogen, elements that constitute important atmospheric gases responsible for habitable conditions on Earth's surface as well as being the building blocks of the biosphere itself. Finally, we consider recent work on evidence for the earliest habitable environments and the appearance of life itself on our planet. Such evidence provides us with an important, if nominal, calibration point for our search for other habitable worlds.

  19. M2K. II. A TRIPLE-PLANET SYSTEM ORBITING HIP 57274

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, Debra A.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Moriarty, John; Brewer, John; Spronck, Julien F. P.; Schwab, Christian; Szymkowiak, Andrew [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Gaidos, Eric [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Johnson, John A. [Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Wright, Jason T. [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, 525 Davey Lab, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16803 (United States); Valenti, Jeff A. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Piskunov, Nikolai [Department of Astronomy and Space Physics, Uppsala University, Box 515, 751 20 Uppsala (Sweden); Clubb, Kelsey I.; Isaacson, Howard [Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies, Lund University, Lund (Sweden); Apps, Kevin [75B Cheyne Walk, Surrey RH6 7LR (United Kingdom); Lepine, Sebastien [American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY 10023 (United States); Mann, Andrew, E-mail: debra.fischer@yale.edu [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2012-01-20

    Doppler observations from Keck Observatory have revealed a triple-planet system orbiting the nearby K4V star, HIP 57274. The inner planet, HIP 57274b, is a super-Earth with Msin i = 11.6 M{sub Circled-Plus} (0.036 M{sub Jup}), an orbital period of 8.135 {+-} 0.004 days, and slightly eccentric orbit e = 0.19 {+-} 0.1. We calculate a transit probability of 6.5% for the inner planet. The second planet has Msin i = 0.4 M{sub Jup} with an orbital period of 32.0 {+-} 0.02 days in a nearly circular orbit (e = 0.05 {+-} 0.03). The third planet has Msin i = 0.53 M{sub Jup} with an orbital period of 432 {+-} 8 days (1.18 years) and an eccentricity e = 0.23 {+-} 0.03. This discovery adds to the number of super-Earth mass planets with M sin i < 12 M{sub Circled-Plus} that have been detected with Doppler surveys. We find that 56% {+-} 18% of super-Earths are members of multi-planet systems. This is certainly a lower limit because of observational detectability limits, yet significantly higher than the fraction of Jupiter mass exoplanets, 20% {+-} 8%, that are members of Doppler-detected, multi-planet systems.

  20. M2K. II. A TRIPLE-PLANET SYSTEM ORBITING HIP 57274

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fischer, Debra A.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Moriarty, John; Brewer, John; Spronck, Julien F. P.; Schwab, Christian; Szymkowiak, Andrew; Gaidos, Eric; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Johnson, John A.; Wright, Jason T.; Valenti, Jeff A.; Piskunov, Nikolai; Clubb, Kelsey I.; Isaacson, Howard; Apps, Kevin; Lepine, Sebastien; Mann, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Doppler observations from Keck Observatory have revealed a triple-planet system orbiting the nearby K4V star, HIP 57274. The inner planet, HIP 57274b, is a super-Earth with Msin i = 11.6 M ⊕ (0.036 M Jup ), an orbital period of 8.135 ± 0.004 days, and slightly eccentric orbit e = 0.19 ± 0.1. We calculate a transit probability of 6.5% for the inner planet. The second planet has Msin i = 0.4 M Jup with an orbital period of 32.0 ± 0.02 days in a nearly circular orbit (e = 0.05 ± 0.03). The third planet has Msin i = 0.53 M Jup with an orbital period of 432 ± 8 days (1.18 years) and an eccentricity e = 0.23 ± 0.03. This discovery adds to the number of super-Earth mass planets with M sin i ⊕ that have been detected with Doppler surveys. We find that 56% ± 18% of super-Earths are members of multi-planet systems. This is certainly a lower limit because of observational detectability limits, yet significantly higher than the fraction of Jupiter mass exoplanets, 20% ± 8%, that are members of Doppler-detected, multi-planet systems.

  1. Success of the International Year of the Planet Earth through Targeted High-impact Programs at the American Geological Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leahy, P.

    2007-12-01

    The American Geological Institute (AGI) is one of the 12 founding partners of the International Year of the Planet Earth (IYPE) and as such AGI serves on its governing board. AGI is a nonprofit federation of 44 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resilience to natural hazards, and the health of the environment. The outreach and educational opportunities afforded by IYPE provide AGI with an international venue to promote the role of the geosciences in the daily life of society. AGI's successful release of the 4-part television series entitled Faces of Earth done in partnership with the Discovery Communications is a hallmark example of an outreach product that is technically accurate but designed to engage the non-scientific audience in the wonderment of our science. The series focuses on building the planet, shaping the planet, assembling America, and the human world. Custom short cuts have been produced for special purposes and one of these may be used as part of an IYPE-launch event in Europe. AGI's news magazine, Geotimes will highlight appropriate IYPE events to increase the awareness of the American geoscience community. In addition, Geotimes will promote IYPE by using its logo routinely and through publishing advertisements reminding its professional and public readership of the importance of the IYPE triennium. Similarly, as part of AGI's K-12 educational efforts and teacher training and through its development of Earth Science Week materials, the goals, accomplishments, and importance of IYPE will be incorporated into the targeted educational audiences. IYPE activities will be highlighted

  2. How does the Earth system generate and maintain thermodynamic disequilibrium and what does it imply for the future of the planet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleidon, Axel

    2012-01-01

    The Earth's chemical composition far from chemical equilibrium is unique in our Solar System, and this uniqueness has been attributed to the presence of widespread life on the planet. Here, I show how this notion can be quantified using non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Generating and maintaining disequilibrium in a thermodynamic variable requires the extraction of power from another thermodynamic gradient, and the second law of thermodynamics imposes fundamental limits on how much power can be extracted. With this approach and associated limits, I show that the ability of abiotic processes to generate geochemical free energy that can be used to transform the surface–atmosphere environment is strongly limited to less than 1 TW. Photosynthetic life generates more than 200 TW by performing photochemistry, thereby substantiating the notion that a geochemical composition far from equilibrium can be a sign for strong biotic activity. Present-day free energy consumption by human activity in the form of industrial activity and human appropriated net primary productivity is of the order of 50 TW and therefore constitutes a considerable term in the free energy budget of the planet. When aiming to predict the future of the planet, we first note that since global changes are closely related to this consumption of free energy, and the demands for free energy by human activity are anticipated to increase substantially in the future, the central question in the context of predicting future global change is then how human free energy demands can increase sustainably without negatively impacting the ability of the Earth system to generate free energy. This question could be evaluated with climate models, and the potential deficiencies in these models to adequately represent the thermodynamics of the Earth system are discussed. Then, I illustrate the implications of this thermodynamic perspective by discussing the forms of renewable energy and planetary engineering that would

  3. How does the Earth system generate and maintain thermodynamic disequilibrium and what does it imply for the future of the planet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleidon, Axel

    2012-03-13

    The Earth's chemical composition far from chemical equilibrium is unique in our Solar System, and this uniqueness has been attributed to the presence of widespread life on the planet. Here, I show how this notion can be quantified using non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Generating and maintaining disequilibrium in a thermodynamic variable requires the extraction of power from another thermodynamic gradient, and the second law of thermodynamics imposes fundamental limits on how much power can be extracted. With this approach and associated limits, I show that the ability of abiotic processes to generate geochemical free energy that can be used to transform the surface-atmosphere environment is strongly limited to less than 1 TW. Photosynthetic life generates more than 200 TW by performing photochemistry, thereby substantiating the notion that a geochemical composition far from equilibrium can be a sign for strong biotic activity. Present-day free energy consumption by human activity in the form of industrial activity and human appropriated net primary productivity is of the order of 50 TW and therefore constitutes a considerable term in the free energy budget of the planet. When aiming to predict the future of the planet, we first note that since global changes are closely related to this consumption of free energy, and the demands for free energy by human activity are anticipated to increase substantially in the future, the central question in the context of predicting future global change is then how human free energy demands can increase sustainably without negatively impacting the ability of the Earth system to generate free energy. This question could be evaluated with climate models, and the potential deficiencies in these models to adequately represent the thermodynamics of the Earth system are discussed. Then, I illustrate the implications of this thermodynamic perspective by discussing the forms of renewable energy and planetary engineering that would

  4. A Possible Technology Development Path to Direct Imaging of Exo-Earths from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegler, Nicholas

    2018-01-01

    We describe a possible roadmap to achieving the technological capability to search for biosignatures on an Earth-like exoplanet from a future space telescope. The detection of Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zone of their stars, and their spectroscopic characterization in a search for biosignatures, requires starlight suppression that exceeds the current best ground-based performance by orders of magnitude. The required planet/star brightness ratio of order 1e-10 at visible wavelengths can be obtained by blocking stellar photons with an occulter, either externally (a starshade) or internally (a coronagraph) to the telescope system, and managing diffracted starlight, so as to directly image the exoplanet in reflected starlight. Coronagraph instruments require advancement in telescope aperture (either monolithic or segmented), aperture obscurations (obscured by secondary mirror and its support struts), and wavefront error sensitivity (e.g. line-of-sight jitter, telescope vibration, polarization). The starshade, which has never been used in a science application, benefits a mission by being decoupled from the telescope, allowing a loosening of telescope stability requirements. In doing so, it transfers the difficult technology from the telescope system to a large deployable structure (tens of meters to greater than ~ 100 m in diameter) that must be positioned precisely at a distance of tens of thousands of kilometers from the telescope. Two ongoing mission concept studies, HabEx and LUVOIR, include the direct imaging of Earth-sized habitable exoplanets as a central science theme.

  5. The Sun and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalswamy, Natchimuthuk

    2012-01-01

    Thus the Sun forms the basis for life on Earth via the black body radiation it emits. The Sun also emits mass in the form of the solar wind and the coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Mass emission also occurs in the form of solar energetic particles (SEPs), which happens during CMEs and solar flares. Both the mass and electromagnetic energy output of the Sun vary over a wide range of time scales, thus introducing disturbances on the space environment that extends from the Sun through the entire heliosphere including the magnetospheres and ionospheres of planets and moons of the solar system. Although our habitat is located in the neutral atmosphere of Earth, we are intimately connected to the non-neutral space environment starting from the ionosphere to the magnetosphere and to the vast interplanetary space. The variability of the solar mass emissions results in the interaction between the solar wind plasma and the magnetospheric plasma leading to huge disturbances in the geospace. The Sun ionizes our atmosphere and creates the ionosphere. The ionosphere can be severely disturbed by the transient energy input from solar flares and the solar wind during geomagnetic storms. The complex interplay between Earth's magnetic field and the solar magnetic field carried by the solar wind presents varying conditions that are both beneficial and hazardous to life on earth. This seminar presents some of the key aspects of this Sun-Earth connection that we have learned since the birth of space science as a scientific discipline some half a century ago.

  6. Earth observations during Space Shuttle Mission STS-42 - Discovery's mission to planet earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lulla, Kamlesh P.; Helfert, Michael; Amsbury, David; Pitts, David; Jaklitch, Pat; Wilkinson, Justin; Evans, Cynthia; Ackleson, Steve; Helms, David; Chambers, Mark

    1993-01-01

    The noteworthy imagery acquired during Space Shuttle Mission STS-42 is documented. Attention is given to frozen Tibetan lakes, Merapi Volcano in Java, Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, the coastline east of Tokyo Japan, land use in southern India, and the Indus River Delta. Observations of Kamchatka Peninsula, Lake Baikal, Moscow, Katmai National Park and Mt. Augustine, Alaska, the Alaskan coast by the Bering Sea, snow-covered New York, the Rhone River valley, the Strait of Gibraltar, and Mt. Ararat, Turkey, are also reported.

  7. LIDAR technology developments in support of ESA Earth observation missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, Yannig; Caron, Jérôme; Hélière, Arnaud; Bézy, Jean-Loup; Meynart, Roland

    2017-11-01

    Critical lidar technology developments have been ongoing at the European Space Agency (ESA) in support of EarthCARE (Earth Clouds, Aerosols, and Radiation Explorer), the 6th Earth Explorer mission, and A-SCOPE (Advanced Space Carbon and Climate Observation of Planet Earth), one of the candidates for the 7th Earth Explorer mission. EarthCARE is embarking an Atmospheric backscatter Lidar (ATLID) while A-SCOPE is based on a Total Column Differential Absorption Lidar. As EarthCARE phase B has just started, the pre-development activities, aiming at validating the technologies used in the flight design and at verifying the overall instrument performance, are almost completed. On the other hand, A-SCOPE pre-phase A has just finished. Therefore technology developments are in progress, addressing critical subsystems or components with the lowest TRL, selected in the proposed instrument concepts. The activities described in this paper span over a broad range, addressing all critical elements of a lidar from the transmitter to the receiver.

  8. DETECTABILITY OF FREE FLOATING PLANETS IN OPEN CLUSTERS WITH THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacucci, Fabio; Ferrara, Andrea; D'Onghia, Elena

    2013-01-01

    Recent observations have shown the presence of extra-solar planets in Galactic open stellar clusters, such as in Praesepe (M44). These systems provide a favorable environment for planetary formation due to the high heavy-element content exhibited by the majority of their population. The large stellar density, and corresponding high close-encounter event rate, may induce strong perturbations of planetary orbits with large semimajor axes. Here we present a set of N-body simulations implementing a novel scheme to treat the tidal effects of external stellar perturbers on planetary orbit eccentricity and inclination. By simulating five nearby open clusters, we determine the rate of occurrence of bodies extracted from their parent stellar system by quasi-impulsive tidal interactions. We find that the specific free-floating planet production rate N-dot o (total number of free-floating planets per unit of time, normalized by the total number of stars), is proportional to the stellar density ρ * of the cluster: N-dot o =αρ ⋆ , with α = (23 ± 5) × 10 –6 pc 3 Myr –1 . For the Pleiades (M45), we predict that ∼26% of stars should have lost their planets. This raises the exciting possibility of directly observing these wandering planets with the James Webb Space Telescope in the near-infrared band. Assuming a surface temperature for the planet of ∼500 K, a free-floating planet of Jupiter size inside the Pleiades would have a specific flux of F ν (4.4 μm) ≈4 × 10 2  nJy, which would lead to a very clear detection (S/N ∼ 100) in only one hour of integration

  9. Detectability of Free Floating Planets in Open Clusters with the James Webb Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacucci, Fabio; Ferrara, Andrea; D'Onghia, Elena

    2013-12-01

    Recent observations have shown the presence of extra-solar planets in Galactic open stellar clusters, such as in Praesepe (M44). These systems provide a favorable environment for planetary formation due to the high heavy-element content exhibited by the majority of their population. The large stellar density, and corresponding high close-encounter event rate, may induce strong perturbations of planetary orbits with large semimajor axes. Here we present a set of N-body simulations implementing a novel scheme to treat the tidal effects of external stellar perturbers on planetary orbit eccentricity and inclination. By simulating five nearby open clusters, we determine the rate of occurrence of bodies extracted from their parent stellar system by quasi-impulsive tidal interactions. We find that the specific free-floating planet production rate \\dot{N}_o (total number of free-floating planets per unit of time, normalized by the total number of stars), is proportional to the stellar density ρsstarf of the cluster: \\dot{N}_o = \\alpha \\rho _\\star, with α = (23 ± 5) × 10-6 pc3 Myr-1. For the Pleiades (M45), we predict that ~26% of stars should have lost their planets. This raises the exciting possibility of directly observing these wandering planets with the James Webb Space Telescope in the near-infrared band. Assuming a surface temperature for the planet of ~500 K, a free-floating planet of Jupiter size inside the Pleiades would have a specific flux of F ν (4.4 μm) ≈4 × 102 nJy, which would lead to a very clear detection (S/N ~ 100) in only one hour of integration.

  10. GLOBAL MAPPING OF EARTH-LIKE EXOPLANETS FROM SCATTERED LIGHT CURVES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawahara, Hajime; Fujii, Yuka

    2010-01-01

    Scattered lights from terrestrial exoplanets provide valuable information about their planetary surface. Applying the surface reconstruction method proposed by Fujii et al. to both diurnal and annual variations of scattered light, we develop a reconstruction method of land distribution with both longitudinal and latitudinal resolutions. We find that one can recover a global map of an idealized Earth-like planet on the following assumptions: (1) cloudlessness, (2) a face-on circular orbit, (3) known surface types and their reflectance spectra, (4) lack of atmospheric absorption, (5) known rotation rate, (6) a static map, and (7) the absence of a moon. Using the dependence of light curves on planetary obliquity, we also show that the obliquity can be measured by adopting the χ 2 minimization or the extended information criterion. We demonstrate the feasibility of our methodology by applying it to a multi-band photometry of a cloudless model Earth with future space missions such as the occulting ozone observatory (O3). We conclude that future space missions can estimate both the surface distribution and the obliquity at least for cloudless Earth-like planets within 5 pc.

  11. One or more bound planets per Milky Way star from microlensing observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassan, A; Kubas, D; Beaulieu, J-P; Dominik, M; Horne, K; Greenhill, J; Wambsganss, J; Menzies, J; Williams, A; Jørgensen, U G; Udalski, A; Bennett, D P; Albrow, M D; Batista, V; Brillant, S; Caldwell, J A R; Cole, A; Coutures, Ch; Cook, K H; Dieters, S; Prester, D Dominis; Donatowicz, J; Fouqué, P; Hill, K; Kains, N; Kane, S; Marquette, J-B; Martin, R; Pollard, K R; Sahu, K C; Vinter, C; Warren, D; Watson, B; Zub, M; Sumi, T; Szymański, M K; Kubiak, M; Poleski, R; Soszynski, I; Ulaczyk, K; Pietrzyński, G; Wyrzykowski, L

    2012-01-11

    Most known extrasolar planets (exoplanets) have been discovered using the radial velocity or transit methods. Both are biased towards planets that are relatively close to their parent stars, and studies find that around 17-30% (refs 4, 5) of solar-like stars host a planet. Gravitational microlensing, on the other hand, probes planets that are further away from their stars. Recently, a population of planets that are unbound or very far from their stars was discovered by microlensing. These planets are at least as numerous as the stars in the Milky Way. Here we report a statistical analysis of microlensing data (gathered in 2002-07) that reveals the fraction of bound planets 0.5-10 AU (Sun-Earth distance) from their stars. We find that 17(+6)(-9)% of stars host Jupiter-mass planets (0.3-10 M(J), where M(J) = 318 M(⊕) and M(⊕) is Earth's mass). Cool Neptunes (10-30 M(⊕)) and super-Earths (5-10 M(⊕)) are even more common: their respective abundances per star are 52(+22)(-29)% and 62(+35)(-37)%. We conclude that stars are orbited by planets as a rule, rather than the exception.

  12. Interactive Mapping of the Planets: An Online Activity Using the Google Earth Platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osinski, G. R.; Gilbert, A.; Harrison, T. N.; Mader, M. M.; Shankar, B.; Tornabene, L. L.

    2013-12-01

    With funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's PromoScience program and support from the Department of Earth Sciences at The University of Western Ontario, the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) has developed a new web-based initiative called Interactive Mapping of the Planets (IMAPS). Additional components include in person school visits to deliver inquiry-based workshops, week-long summer camps, and pre-prepared impact rock lending kits, all framed around the IMAPS activity. IMAPS will is now in beta testing mode and will be demonstrated in this session. The general objective of the online activity is for participants to plan and design a rover mission to Mars based on a given mission goal - e.g., to find evidence for past water flow. The activity begins with participants receiving image-analysis training to learn about the different landforms on Mars and which ones are potentially caused by water flow. They then need to pass a short test to show they can consistently identify Martian landforms. From there, the participants choose a landing site and plan a traverse - utilizing the free Google Earth plug-in - and taking into account factors such as hazards and their sites of interest. A mission control blog will provide updates on the status of their mission and a 'choose your rover' option provides the opportunity to unlock more advanced rovers by collaborating with other scientists and rating their missions. Indeed, evaluation of missions will be done using a crowd-sourcing method. In addition to being fully accessible online, CPSX will also target primary- and secondary-school grades in which astronomy and space science is taught. Teachers in K-12 classrooms will be able to sign-up for the activity ahead of time in order to receive a workshop package, which will guide them on how to use the IMAPS online activity with their class. Teachers will be able to set up groups for their classroom so that they can

  13. On the hypothesis of hyperimpact-induced ejection of asteroid-size bodies from Earth-type planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drobyshevski, E. M.

    During the last two decades a number of facts have brought to life a seemingly fantastic idea of ejection of large rocky fragments from planets into space, like for example SNC meteorites or many-km-size fragments of Vesta. The theoretical description of impact processes of this ejection lags behind. Considerable efforts have been spent to show the possibility of ejection of bodies several meters in size from large impact craters on Mars. In general, the possibility of impact self-destruction of inner planets may drastically alter traditional models of the origin of the Solar System. However, non-destructive gasdynamic ejection of large fragments from planets requires a mechanism for fast conversion of shock-wave energy into heat. The extrapolation of data from laboratory impact experiments (≡10 kJ) and nuclear explosions (<1 Mt TNT) in order to describe hyperimpact processes with 105 - 106 Mt TNT energies can hardly be justified, that is why these calculations give relatively small gas production and, consequently, small velocities of fragment ejection from impact craters. It is predicted that at such energies some instabilities may lead to formation of new dissipation channels, that would increase the part of the overheated gas fraction in the hyperimpact ejection products. This would eliminate numerous contradictions in the impact history of planets, asteroids, meteorites etc.

  14. Mission to planet earth: A call to repeal the Landsat Act

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gabrynowicz, J.I.; Wood, C.A.

    1991-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MPE) is being planned to provide scientists with data and information about global climate change so that policymakers can make informed decisions in directing the nation's response to the change. A crucial component of MPE is the Landsat system and the continuous, multidecade database it has produced. Yet because of an ill-conceived and poorly-executed commercialization policy, MPE researchers are being deprived of these vital national assets, profoundly hampering their ability to carry out the work of MPE. Effects of the US commercialization policy have reached abroad. The French, Japanese, and Canadians, following the US lead, have also commercialized their existing and future land remote sensing systems - further inhibiting the free flow of data among these complementary systems and preventing a truly international, scientific effort in MPE. Meeting the challenges of global climate change requires reconsidering the proper role of the Landsat system and identifying appropriate and inappropriate commercial remote sensing activities

  15. Three Small Planets Transiting the Bright Young Field Star K2-233

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Trevor J.; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Benneke, Björn; Petigura, Erik A.; Gonzales, Erica J.; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Yu, Liang; Isaacson, Howard T.; Howard, Andrew W.; Ciardi, David R.; Mamajek, Eric E.; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Cody, Ann Marie; Riedel, Adric; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Tanner, Christopher; Ende, Martin

    2018-05-01

    We report the detection of three small transiting planets around the young K3 dwarf K2-233 (2MASS J15215519‑2013539) from observations during Campaign 15 of the K2 mission. The star is relatively nearby (d = 69 pc) and bright (V = 10.7 mag, K s = 8.4 mag), making the planetary system an attractive target for radial velocity follow-up and atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope. The inner two planets are hot super-Earths (R b = 1.40 ± 0.06 {R}\\oplus , R c = 1.34 ± 0.08 {R}\\oplus ), while the outer planet is a warm sub-Neptune (R d = 2.6 ± 0.1 {R}\\oplus ). We estimate the stellar age to be {360}-140+490 Myr based on rotation, activity, and kinematic indicators. The K2-233 system is particularly interesting given recent evidence for inflated radii in planets around similarly aged stars, a trend potentially related to photo-evaporation, core cooling, or both mechanisms.

  16. Addressing the statistical mechanics of planet orbits in the solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogavero, Federico

    2017-10-01

    The chaotic nature of planet dynamics in the solar system suggests the relevance of a statistical approach to planetary orbits. In such a statistical description, the time-dependent position and velocity of the planets are replaced by the probability density function (PDF) of their orbital elements. It is natural to set up this kind of approach in the framework of statistical mechanics. In the present paper, I focus on the collisionless excitation of eccentricities and inclinations via gravitational interactions in a planetary system. The future planet trajectories in the solar system constitute the prototype of this kind of dynamics. I thus address the statistical mechanics of the solar system planet orbits and try to reproduce the PDFs numerically constructed by Laskar (2008, Icarus, 196, 1). I show that the microcanonical ensemble of the Laplace-Lagrange theory accurately reproduces the statistics of the giant planet orbits. To model the inner planets I then investigate the ansatz of equiprobability in the phase space constrained by the secular integrals of motion. The eccentricity and inclination PDFs of Earth and Venus are reproduced with no free parameters. Within the limitations of a stationary model, the predictions also show a reasonable agreement with Mars PDFs and that of Mercury inclination. The eccentricity of Mercury demands in contrast a deeper analysis. I finally revisit the random walk approach of Laskar to the time dependence of the inner planet PDFs. Such a statistical theory could be combined with direct numerical simulations of planet trajectories in the context of planet formation, which is likely to be a chaotic process.

  17. Modeling circumbinary planets: The case of Kepler-38

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kley, Wilhelm; Haghighipour, Nader

    2014-04-01

    Context. Recently, a number of planets orbiting binary stars have been discovered by the Kepler space telescope. In a few systems the planets reside close to the dynamical stability limit. Owing to the difficulty of forming planets in such close orbits, it is believed that they have formed farther out in the disk and migrated to their present locations. Aims: Our goal is to construct more realistic models of planet migration in circumbinary disks and to determine the final position of these planets more accurately. In our work, we focus on the system Kepler-38 where the planet is close to the stability limit. Methods: The evolution of the circumbinary disk is studied using two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. We study locally isothermal disks as well as more realistic models that include full viscous heating, radiative cooling from the disk surfaces, and radiative diffusion in the disk midplane. After the disk has been brought into a quasi-equilibrium state, a 115 Earth-mass planet is embedded and its evolution is followed. Results: In all cases the planets stop inward migration near the inner edge of the disk. In isothermal disks with a typical disk scale height of H/r = 0.05, the final outcome agrees very well with the observed location of planet Kepler-38b. For the radiative models, the disk thickness and location of the inner edge is determined by the mass in the system. For surface densities on the order of 3000 g/cm2 at 1 AU, the inner gap lies close to the binary and planets stop in the region between the 5:1 and 4:1 mean-motion resonances with the binary. A model with a disk with approximately a quarter of the mass yields a final position very close to the observed one. Conclusions: For planets migrating in circumbinary disks, the final position is dictated by the structure of the disk. Knowing the observed orbits of circumbinary planets, radiative disk simulations with embedded planets can provide important information on the physical state of the

  18. The Earth Microbiome Project and modeling the planets microbial potential (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    The understanding of Earth's climate and ecology requires multiscale observations of the biosphere, of which microbial life are a major component. However, to acquire and process physical samples of soil, water and air that comprise the appropriate spatial and temporal resolution to capture the immense variation in microbial dynamics, would require a herculean effort and immense financial resources dwarfing even the most ambitious projects to date. To overcome this hurdle we created the Earth Microbiome Project, a crowd-sourced effort to acquire physical samples from researchers around the world that are, importantly, contextualized with physical, chemical and biological data detailing the environmental properties of that sample in the location and time it was acquired. The EMP leverages these existing efforts to target a systematic analysis of microbial taxonomic and functional dynamics across a vast array of environmental parameter gradients. The EMP captures the environmental gradients, location, time and sampling protocol information about every sample donated by our valued collaborators. Physical samples are then processed using a standardized DNA extraction, PCR, and shotgun sequencing protocol to generate comparable data regarding the microbial community structure and function in each sample. To date we have processed >17,000 samples from 40 different biomes. One of the key goals of the EMP is to map the spatiotemporal variability of microbial communities to capture the changes in important functional processes that need to be appropriately expressed in models to provide reliable forecasts of ecosystem phenotype across our changing planet. This is essential if we are to develop economically sound strategies to be good stewards of our Earth. The EMP recognizes that environments are comprised of complex sets of interdependent parameters and that the development of useful predictive computational models of both terrestrial and atmospheric systems requires

  19. Origins and Destinations: Tracking Planet Composition through Planet Formation Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chance, Quadry; Ballard, Sarah

    2018-01-01

    There are now several thousand confirmed exoplanets, a number which far exceeds our resources to study them all in detail. In particular, planets around M dwarfs provide the best opportunity for in-depth study of their atmospheres by telescopes in the near future. The question of which M dwarf planets most merit follow-up resources is a pressing one, given that NASA’s TESS mission will soon find hundreds of such planets orbiting stars bright enough for both ground and spaced-based follow-up.Our work aims to predict the approximate composition of planets around these stars through n-body simulations of the last stage of planet formation. With a variety of initial disk conditions, we investigate how the relative abundances of both refractory and volatile compounds in the primordial planetesimals are mapped to the final planet outcomes. These predictions can serve to provide a basis for making an educated guess about (a) which planets to observe with precious resources like JWST and (b) how to identify them based on dynamical clues.

  20. Planet Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, Isabel

    2014-05-01

    A more adequate name for Planet Earth could be Planet Ocean, seeing that ocean water covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and plays a fundamental role in the survival of almost all living species. Actually, oceans are aqueous solutions of extraordinary importance due to its direct implications in the current living conditions of our planet and its potential role on the continuity of life as well, as long as we know how to respect the limits of its immense but finite capacities. We may therefore state that natural aqueous solutions are excellent contexts for the approach and further understanding of many important chemical concepts, whether they be of chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility and oxidation-reduction reactions. The topic of the 2014 edition of GIFT ('Our Changing Planet') will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, subjects that have been lately included in Chemistry teaching programs. This is particularly relevant on high school programs, with themes such as 'Earth Atmosphere: radiation, matter and structure', 'From Atmosphere to the Ocean: solutions on Earth and to Earth', 'Spring Waters and Public Water Supply: Water acidity and alkalinity'. These are the subjects that I want to develop on my school project with my pupils. Geographically, our school is located near the sea in a region where a stream flows into the sea. Besides that, our school water comes from a borehole which shows that the quality of the water we use is of significant importance. This project will establish and implement several procedures that, supported by physical and chemical analysis, will monitor the quality of water - not only the water used in our school, but also the surrounding waters (stream and beach water). The samples will be collected in the borehole of the school, in the stream near the school and in the beach of Carcavelos. Several physical-chemical characteristics related to the quality of the water will

  1. Earth as a Tool for Astrobiology—A European Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Zita; Cottin, Hervé; Kotler, Julia Michelle; Carrasco, Nathalie; Cockell, Charles S.; de la Torre Noetzel, Rosa; Demets, René; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; d'Hendecourt, Louis; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Elsaesser, Andreas; Foing, Bernard; Onofri, Silvano; Quinn, Richard; Rabbow, Elke; Rettberg, Petra; Ricco, Antonio J.; Slenzka, Klaus; Stalport, Fabien; ten Kate, Inge L.; van Loon, Jack J. W. A.; Westall, Frances

    2017-07-01

    Scientists use the Earth as a tool for astrobiology by analyzing planetary field analogues (i.e. terrestrial samples and field sites that resemble planetary bodies in our Solar System). In addition, they expose the selected planetary field analogues in simulation chambers to conditions that mimic the ones of planets, moons and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) space conditions, as well as the chemistry occurring in interstellar and cometary ices. This paper reviews the ways the Earth is used by astrobiologists: (i) by conducting planetary field analogue studies to investigate extant life from extreme environments, its metabolisms, adaptation strategies and modern biosignatures; (ii) by conducting planetary field analogue studies to investigate extinct life from the oldest rocks on our planet and its biosignatures; (iii) by exposing terrestrial samples to simulated space or planetary environments and producing a sample analogue to investigate changes in minerals, biosignatures and microorganisms. The European Space Agency (ESA) created a topical team in 2011 to investigate recent activities using the Earth as a tool for astrobiology and to formulate recommendations and scientific needs to improve ground-based astrobiological research. Space is an important tool for astrobiology (see Horneck et al. in Astrobiology, 16:201-243, 2016; Cottin et al., 2017), but access to space is limited. Complementing research on Earth provides fast access, more replications and higher sample throughput. The major conclusions of the topical team and suggestions for the future include more scientifically qualified calls for field campaigns with planetary analogy, and a centralized point of contact at ESA or the EU for the organization of a survey of such expeditions. An improvement of the coordinated logistics, infrastructures and funding system supporting the combination of field work with planetary simulation investigations, as well as an optimization of the scientific return and data processing

  2. Planet traps and first planets: The critical metallicity for gas giant formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hasegawa, Yasuhiro; Hirashita, Hiroyuki, E-mail: yasu@asiaa.sinica.edu.tw, E-mail: hirashita@asiaa.sinica.edu.tw [Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica (ASIAA), P.O. Box 23-141, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China)

    2014-06-10

    The ubiquity of planets poses an interesting question: when are first planets formed in galaxies? We investigate this by adopting a theoretical model where planet traps are combined with the standard core accretion scenario in which the efficiency of forming planetary cores directly relates to the metallicity ([Fe/H]) in disks. Three characteristic exoplanetary populations are examined: hot Jupiters, exo-Jupiters around 1 AU, and low-mass planets in tight orbits, such as super-Earths. We statistically compute planet formation frequencies (PFFs), as well as the orbital radius (〈R{sub rapid}〉) within which gas accretion becomes efficient enough to form Jovian planets, as a function of metallicity (–2 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤–0.6). We show that the total PFFs for these three populations increase steadily with metallicity. This is the direct outcome of the core accretion picture. For the metallicity range considered here, the population of low-mass planets dominates Jovian planets. The Jovian planets contribute to the PFFs above [Fe/H] ≅ –1. We find that the hot Jupiters form more efficiently than the exo-Jupiters at [Fe/H] ≲ –0.7. This arises from the slower growth of planetary cores and their more efficient radial inward transport by the host traps in lower metallicity disks. We show that the critical metallicity for forming Jovian planets is [Fe/H] ≅ –1.2 by comparing 〈R{sub rapid}〉 of hot Jupiters and low-mass planets. The comparison intrinsically links to the different gas accretion efficiency between these two types of planets. Therefore, this study implies that important physical processes in planet formation may be tested by exoplanet observations around metal-poor stars.

  3. Planet traps and first planets: The critical metallicity for gas giant formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasegawa, Yasuhiro; Hirashita, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    The ubiquity of planets poses an interesting question: when are first planets formed in galaxies? We investigate this by adopting a theoretical model where planet traps are combined with the standard core accretion scenario in which the efficiency of forming planetary cores directly relates to the metallicity ([Fe/H]) in disks. Three characteristic exoplanetary populations are examined: hot Jupiters, exo-Jupiters around 1 AU, and low-mass planets in tight orbits, such as super-Earths. We statistically compute planet formation frequencies (PFFs), as well as the orbital radius (〈R rapid 〉) within which gas accretion becomes efficient enough to form Jovian planets, as a function of metallicity (–2 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤–0.6). We show that the total PFFs for these three populations increase steadily with metallicity. This is the direct outcome of the core accretion picture. For the metallicity range considered here, the population of low-mass planets dominates Jovian planets. The Jovian planets contribute to the PFFs above [Fe/H] ≅ –1. We find that the hot Jupiters form more efficiently than the exo-Jupiters at [Fe/H] ≲ –0.7. This arises from the slower growth of planetary cores and their more efficient radial inward transport by the host traps in lower metallicity disks. We show that the critical metallicity for forming Jovian planets is [Fe/H] ≅ –1.2 by comparing 〈R rapid 〉 of hot Jupiters and low-mass planets. The comparison intrinsically links to the different gas accretion efficiency between these two types of planets. Therefore, this study implies that important physical processes in planet formation may be tested by exoplanet observations around metal-poor stars.

  4. Wisconsin Earth and Space Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilbrough, Larry (Technical Monitor); French, George

    2003-01-01

    The Wisconsin Earth and Space Science Education project successfilly met its objectives of creating a comprehensive online portfolio of science education curricular resources and providing a professional development program to increase educator competency with Earth and Space science content and teaching pedagogy. Overall, 97% of participants stated that their experience was either good or excellent. The favorable response of participant reactions to the professional development opportunities highlights the high quality of the professional development opportunity. The enthusiasm generated for using the curricular material in classroom settings was overwhelmingly positive at 92%. This enthusiasm carried over into actual classroom implementation of resources from the curricular portfolio, with 90% using the resources between 1-6 times during the school year. The project has had a positive impact on student learning in Wisconsin. Although direct measurement of student performance is not possible in a project of this kind, nearly 75% of participating teachers stated that they saw an increase in student performance in math and science as a result of using project resources. Additionally, nearly 75% of participants saw an increase in the enthusiasm of students towards math and science. Finally, some evidence exists that the professional development academies and curricular portfolio have been effective in changing educator behavior. More than half of all participants indicated that they have used more hands-on activities as a result of the Wisconsin Earth and Space Science Education project.

  5. New planet hints at life in the stars

    CERN Multimedia

    Dalton, A W

    2002-01-01

    Astronomers have detected a distant planet 100 light years from Earth, circling Tau1 Gruis, its star, in the constellation of Grus (the crane). The planet, similar in appearance to Jupiter, is three times as far away from its star as the Earth is from the Sun and takes four years to revolve around the star, in a roughly circular orbit. Scientists believe this type of planetary orbit is the most promising for finding worlds that contain life (1 page).

  6. Violent Adolescent Planet Caught Infrared Handed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trang, D.; Gaidos, E.

    2010-01-01

    The prevailing view of planet formation depicts accumulation of progressively larger objects, culminating in accretionary impacts between Moon- to Mars-sized protoplanets. Cosmochemists have found evidence in chondritic meteorites for such violent events, and the Moon is thought to have involved a huge impact between a Mars-sized object and the still-growing proto-Earth. Now we may have evidence for a large impact during planet formation around another star. Carey Lisse (Applied Physics Lab of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore) and colleagues from the Space Telescope Science Institute (Baltimore), the University of Cambridge (UK), the Open University (Milton Keyes, UK), the University of Georgia (Athens, GA), Jet Propulsion Lab (Pasadena, CA), and the University of Rochester (New York) analyzed infrared spectra obtained by the Spitzer Space Telescope. They found a prominent peak in the spectrum at 9.3 micrometers, and two smaller ones at slightly lower and higher wavelengths. These peaks are consistent with the presence of SiO gas, a product expected to be produced by a highly energetic impact. The spectral measurements also allowed Lisse and his colleagues to estimate the size of the dust and they found that there is an abundance of micrometer-sized dust grains. This argues for a fresh source of fine material during the past 0.1 million years. That source may have been an impact between two protoplanets surrounding this young star.

  7. DETECTABILITY OF FREE FLOATING PLANETS IN OPEN CLUSTERS WITH THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pacucci, Fabio; Ferrara, Andrea [Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza dei Cavalieri 7, I-56126 Pisa (Italy); D' Onghia, Elena [University of Wisconsin, 475 Charter St., Madison, WI 53706 (United States)

    2013-12-01

    Recent observations have shown the presence of extra-solar planets in Galactic open stellar clusters, such as in Praesepe (M44). These systems provide a favorable environment for planetary formation due to the high heavy-element content exhibited by the majority of their population. The large stellar density, and corresponding high close-encounter event rate, may induce strong perturbations of planetary orbits with large semimajor axes. Here we present a set of N-body simulations implementing a novel scheme to treat the tidal effects of external stellar perturbers on planetary orbit eccentricity and inclination. By simulating five nearby open clusters, we determine the rate of occurrence of bodies extracted from their parent stellar system by quasi-impulsive tidal interactions. We find that the specific free-floating planet production rate N-dot {sub o} (total number of free-floating planets per unit of time, normalized by the total number of stars), is proportional to the stellar density ρ{sub *} of the cluster: N-dot {sub o}=αρ{sub ⋆}, with α = (23 ± 5) × 10{sup –6} pc{sup 3} Myr{sup –1}. For the Pleiades (M45), we predict that ∼26% of stars should have lost their planets. This raises the exciting possibility of directly observing these wandering planets with the James Webb Space Telescope in the near-infrared band. Assuming a surface temperature for the planet of ∼500 K, a free-floating planet of Jupiter size inside the Pleiades would have a specific flux of F {sub ν} (4.4 μm) ≈4 × 10{sup 2} nJy, which would lead to a very clear detection (S/N ∼ 100) in only one hour of integration.

  8. Three regimes of extrasolar planet radius inferred from host star metallicities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Bizzarro, Martin; Latham, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests that they range in composition from small, high......-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick hydrogen and helium gas envelopes. Here we report the metallicities (that is, the abundances of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) of more than 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates, and find...... that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct (~4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (radii less than 1.7 Earth radii), gas dwarf planets with rocky cores and hydrogen-helium envelopes...

  9. Haze production in the atmospheres of super-Earths and mini-Neptunes: Insight from PHAZER lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horst, Sarah; He, Chao; Kempton, Eliza; Moses, Julianne I.; Vuitton, Veronique; Lewis, Nikole

    2017-10-01

    Super-Earths and mini-Neptunes (~1.2-3 Earth radii) comprise a large fraction of planets in the universe and TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) will increase the number that are amenable to atmospheric characterization with observatories like JWST (James Webb Space Telescope). These atmospheres should span a large range of temperature and atmospheric composition phase space, with no solar system analogues. Interpretation of current and future atmospheric observations of super-Earths and mini-Neptunes requires additional knowledge about atmospheric chemistry and photochemical haze production. We have experimentally investigated haze formation for H2, H2O, and CO2 dominated atmospheres (100x, 1000x, and 10000x solar metallicity) for a range of temperatures (300 K, 400 K, and 600 K) using the PHAZER (Planetary Haze Research) experiment at Johns Hopkins University. This is a necessary step in understanding which, if any, super-Earths and mini-Neptunes possess the conditions required for efficient production of photochemical haze in their atmospheres. We find that the production rates vary over a few orders of magnitudes with some higher than our nominal Titan experiments. We therefore expect that planets in this temperature and atmospheric composition phase space will exhibit a range of particle concentrations and some may be as hazy as Titan.

  10. Stability of Multi-Planet Systems in the Alpha Centauri System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2017-01-01

    We evaluate the extent of the regions within the alpha Centauri AB star system where small planets are able to orbit for billion-year timescales (Quarles & Lissauer 2016, Astron. J. 151, 111), as well as how closely-spaced planetary orbits can be within those regions in which individual planets can survive. Although individual planets on low inclination, low eccentricity, orbits can survive throughout the habitable zones of both stars, perturbations from the companion star imply that the spacing of planets in multi-planet systems within the habitable zones of each star must be significantly larger than the spacing of similar multi-planet systems orbiting single stars in order to be long-lived. Because the binary companion induces a forced eccentricity upon the orbits of planets in orbit around either star, appropriately-aligned circumstellar orbits with small initial eccentricities are stable to slightly larger initial semimajor axes than are initially circular orbits. Initial eccentricities close to forced eccentricities can have a much larger affect on how closely planetary orbits can be spaced, and therefore on how many planets may remain in the habitable zones, although the required spacing remains significantly higher than for planets orbiting single stars.

  11. Space Studies of the Earth-Moon System, Planets, and Small Bodies of the Solar System (B) Past, Present and Future of Small Body Science and Exploration (B0.4)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Reeves, Dan; Chodas, Paul; Gates, Michele; Johnson, Lindley; Ticker, Ronald

    2016-01-01

    To achieve its long-term goal of sending humans to Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to proceed in a series of incrementally more complex human space flight missions. Today, human flight experience extends only to Low- Earth Orbit (LEO), and should problems arise during a mission, the crew can return to Earth in a matter of minutes to hours. The next logical step for human space flight is to gain flight experience in the vicinity of the Moon. These cis-lunar missions provide a "proving ground" for the testing of systems and operations while still accommodating an emergency return path to the Earth that would last only several days. Cis-lunar mission experience will be essential for more ambitious human missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, which will require weeks, months, or even years of transit time. In addition, NASA has been given a Grand Challenge to find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them. Obtaining knowledge of asteroid physical properties combined with performing technology demonstrations for planetary defense provide much needed information to address the issue of future asteroid impacts on Earth. Hence the combined objectives of human exploration and planetary defense give a rationale for the Asteroid Re-direct Mission (ARM).

  12. Impact of space on science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elachi, Charles

    1993-01-01

    The advent of the capability to conduct space-based measurements has revolutionized the study of the Earth, the planetary system and the astrophysical universe. The resultant knowledge has yielded insights into the management of our planet's resources and provides intellectual enrichment for our civilization. New investigation techniques hold promise for extending the scope of space science to address topics in fundamental physics such as gravitational waves and certain aspects of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.

  13. Emergence of two types of terrestrial planet on solidification of magma ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamano, Keiko; Abe, Yutaka; Genda, Hidenori

    2013-05-30

    Understanding the origins of the diversity in terrestrial planets is a fundamental goal in Earth and planetary sciences. In the Solar System, Venus has a similar size and bulk composition to those of Earth, but it lacks water. Because a richer variety of exoplanets is expected to be discovered, prediction of their atmospheres and surface environments requires a general framework for planetary evolution. Here we show that terrestrial planets can be divided into two distinct types on the basis of their evolutionary history during solidification from the initially hot molten state expected from the standard formation model. Even if, apart from their orbits, they were identical just after formation, the solidified planets can have different characteristics. A type I planet, which is formed beyond a certain critical distance from the host star, solidifies within several million years. If the planet acquires water during formation, most of this water is retained and forms the earliest oceans. In contrast, on a type II planet, which is formed inside the critical distance, a magma ocean can be sustained for longer, even with a larger initial amount of water. Its duration could be as long as 100 million years if the planet is formed together with a mass of water comparable to the total inventory of the modern Earth. Hydrodynamic escape desiccates type II planets during the slow solidification process. Although Earth is categorized as type I, it is not clear which type Venus is because its orbital distance is close to the critical distance. However, because the dryness of the surface and mantle predicted for type II planets is consistent with the characteristics of Venus, it may be representative of type II planets. Also, future observations may have a chance to detect not only terrestrial exoplanets covered with water ocean but also those covered with magma ocean around a young star.

  14. Life at the Common Denominator: Mechanistic and Quantitative Biology for the Earth and Space Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori M.

    2010-01-01

    The remarkable challenges and possibilities of the coming few decades will compel the biogeochemical and astrobiological sciences to characterize the interactions between biology and its environment in a fundamental, mechanistic, and quantitative fashion. The clear need for integrative and scalable biology-environment models is exemplified in the Earth sciences by the challenge of effectively addressing anthropogenic global change, and in the space sciences by the challenge of mounting a well-constrained yet sufficiently adaptive and inclusive search for life beyond Earth. Our understanding of the life-planet interaction is still, however, largely empirical. A variety of approaches seek to move from empirical to mechanistic descriptions. One approach focuses on the relationship between biology and energy, which is at once universal (all life requires energy), unique (life manages energy flow in a fashion not seen in abiotic systems), and amenable to characterization and quantification in thermodynamic terms. Simultaneously, a focus on energy flow addresses a critical point of interface between life and its geological, chemical, and physical environment. Characterizing and quantifying this relationship for life on Earth will support the development of integrative and predictive models for biology-environment dynamics. Understanding this relationship at its most fundamental level holds potential for developing concepts of habitability and biosignatures that can optimize astrobiological exploration strategies and are extensible to all life.

  15. Emigrating Beyond Earth Human Adaptation and Space Colonization

    CERN Document Server

    Smith, Cameron M

    2012-01-01

    For four million years humankind has been actively expanding geographically and in doing so has adapted to a wide variety of hostile environments. Now we are looking towards the ultimate adaptation - the colonization of space. Emigrating Beyond Earth illustrates that this is not a technocratic endeavor, but a natural continuation of human evolution; a journey not just for the engineer and rocket scientist, but for everyman. Based on the most current understanding of our universe, human adaptation and evolution, the authors explain why space colonization must be planned as an adaptation to, rather than the conquest of, space. Emigrating Beyond Earth argues that space colonization is an insurance policy for our species, and that it isn't about rockets and robots, it's about humans doing what we've been doing for four million years: finding new places and new ways to live. Applying a unique anthropological approach, the authors outline a framework for continued human space exploration and offer a glimpse of a po...

  16. Discovery of a bright microlensing event with planetary features towards the Taurus region: a super-Earth planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nucita, A. A.; Licchelli, D.; De Paolis, F.; Ingrosso, G.; Strafella, F.; Katysheva, N.; Shugarov, S.

    2018-05-01

    The transient event labelled as TCP J05074264+2447555 recently discovered towards the Taurus region was quickly recognized to be an ongoing microlensing event on a source located at distance of only 700-800 pc from Earth. Here, we show that observations with high sampling rate close to the time of maximum magnification revealed features that imply the presence of a binary lens system with very low-mass ratio components. We present a complete description of the binary lens system, which host an Earth-like planet with most likely mass of 9.2 ± 6.6 M⊕. Furthermore, the source estimated location and detailed Monte Carlo simulations allowed us to classify the event as due to the closest lens system, being at a distance of ≃380 pc and mass ≃0.25 M⊙.

  17. Planets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary

  18. Characterizing Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    While the James Webb Space Telescope will detect and characterize extrasolar planets by transit and direct imaging, a new generation of telescopes will be required to detect and characterize extrasolar planets by reflected light imaging. NASA's WFIRST space telescope, now in development, will image dozens of cool giant planets at optical wavelengths and will obtain spectra for several of the best and brightest targets. This mission will pave the way for the detection and characterization of terrestrial planets by the planned LUVOIR or HabEx space telescopes. In my presentation I will discuss the challenges that arise in the interpretation of direct imaging data and present the results of our group's effort to develop methods for maximizing the science yield from these planned missions.

  19. A Model for Undergraduate and High School Student Research in Earth and Space Sciences: The New York City Research Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalzo, F.; Johnson, L.; Marchese, P.

    2006-05-01

    The New York City Research Initiative (NYCRI) is a research and academic program that involves high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and high school teachers in research teams that are led by college/university principal investigators of NASA funded projects and/or NASA scientists. The principal investigators are at 12 colleges/universities within a 50-mile radius of New York City (NYC and surrounding counties, Southern Connecticut and Northern New Jersey), as well as the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS). This program has a summer research institute component in Earth Science and Space Science, and an academic year component that includes the formulation and implementation NASA research based learning units in existing STEM courses by high school and college faculty. NYCRI is a revision and expansion of the Institute on Climate and Planets at GISS and is funded by NASA MURED and the Goddard Space Flight Center's Education Office.

  20. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Twicken, Joseph D.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey

    2012-03-01

    The search for exoplanets is one of the hottest topics in astronomy and astrophysics in the twenty-first century, capturing the public's attention as well as that of the astronomical community. This nascent field was conceived in 1989 with the discovery of a candidate planetary companion to HD114762 [35] and was born in 1995 with the discovery of the first extrasolar planet 51 Peg-b [37] orbiting a main sequence star. As of March, 2011, over 500 exoplanets have been discovered* and 106 are known to transit or cross their host star, as viewed from Earth. Of these transiting planets, 15 have been announced by the Kepler Mission, which was launched into an Earth-trailing, heliocentric orbit in March, 2009 [1,4,6,15,18,20,22,31,32,34,36,43]. In addition, over 1200 candidate transiting planets have already been detected by Kepler [5], and vigorous follow-up observations are being conducted to vet these candidates. As the false-positive rate for Kepler is expected to be quite low [39], Kepler has effectively tripled the number of known exoplanets. Moreover, Kepler will provide an unprecedented data set in terms of photometric precision, duration, contiguity, and number of stars. Kepler's primary science objective is to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets transiting their Sun-like host stars in the habitable zone, that range of orbital distances for which liquid water would pool on the surface of a terrestrial planet such as Earth, Mars, or Venus. This daunting task demands an instrument capable of measuring the light output from each of over 100,000 stars simultaneously with an unprecedented photometric precision of 20 parts per million (ppm) at 6.5-h intervals. The large number of stars is required because the probability of the geometrical alignment of planetary orbits that permit observation of transits is the ratio of the size of the star to the size of the planetary orbit. For Earth-like planets in 1-astronomical unit (AU) orbits† about sun-like stars

  1. In search of future earths: assessing the possibility of finding Earth analogues in the later stages of their habitable lifetimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley-James, Jack T; Greaves, Jane S; Raven, John A; Cockell, Charles S

    2015-05-01

    Earth will become uninhabitable within 2-3 Gyr as a result of the increasing luminosity of the Sun changing the boundaries of the habitable zone (HZ). Predictions about the future of habitable conditions on Earth include declining species diversity and habitat extent, ocean loss, and changes to geochemical cycles. Testing these predictions is difficult, but the discovery of a planet that is an analogue to future Earth could provide the means to test them. This planet would need to have an Earth-like biosphere history and to be approaching the inner edge of the HZ at present. Here, we assess the possibility of finding such a planet and discuss the benefits of analyzing older Earths. Finding an old-Earth analogue in nearby star systems would be ideal, because this would allow for atmospheric characterization. Hence, as an illustrative example, G stars within 10 pc of the Sun are assessed as potential old-Earth-analog hosts. Six of these represent good potential hosts. For each system, a hypothetical Earth analogue is placed at locations within the continuously habitable zone (CHZ) that would allow enough time for Earth-like biosphere development. Surface temperature evolution over the host star's main sequence lifetime (assessed by using a simple climate model) is used to determine whether the planet would be in the right stage of its late-habitable lifetime to exhibit detectable biosignatures. The best candidate, in terms of the chances of planet formation in the CHZ and of biosignature detection, is 61 Virginis. However, planet formation studies suggest that only a small fraction (0.36%) of G stars in the solar neighborhood could host an old-Earth analogue. If the development of Earth-like biospheres is rare, requiring a sequence of low-probability events to occur, biosphere evolution models suggest they are rarer still, with only thousands being present in the Galaxy as a whole.

  2. One model to fit all? The pursuit of integrated earth system models in GAIM and AIMES

    OpenAIRE

    Uhrqvist, Ola

    2015-01-01

    Images of Earth from space popularized the view of our planet as a single, fragile entity against the vastness and darkness of space. In the 1980s, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) was set up to produce a predictive understanding of this fragile entity as the ‘Earth System.’ In order to do so, the program sought to create a common research framework for the different disciplines involved. It suggested that integrated numerical models could provide such a framework. The pap...

  3. A low-order model of water vapor, clouds, and thermal emission for tidally locked terrestrial planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jun; Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: junyang28@uchicago.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2014-04-01

    In the spirit of minimal modeling of complex systems, we develop an idealized two-column model to investigate the climate of tidally locked terrestrial planets with Earth-like atmospheres in the habitable zone of M-dwarf stars. The model is able to approximate the fundamental features of the climate obtained from three-dimensional (3D) atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) simulations. One important reason for the two-column model's success is that it reproduces the high cloud albedo of the GCM simulations, which reduces the planet's temperature and delays the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. The two-column model also clearly illustrates a secondary mechanism for determining the climate: the nightside acts as a 'radiator fin' through which infrared energy can be lost to space easily. This radiator fin is maintained by a temperature inversion and dry air on the nightside, and plays a similar role to the subtropics on modern Earth. Since one-dimensional radiative-convective models cannot capture the effects of the cloud albedo and radiator fin, they are systematically biased toward a narrower habitable zone. We also show that cloud parameters are the most important in the two-column model for determining the day-night thermal emission contrast, which decreases and eventually reverses as the stellar flux increases. This reversal is important because it could be detected by future extrasolar planet characterization missions, which would suggest that the planet has Earth-like water clouds and is potentially habitable.

  4. ABIOTIC OXYGEN-DOMINATED ATMOSPHERES ON TERRESTRIAL HABITABLE ZONE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wordsworth, Robin; Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2014-01-01

    Detection of life on other planets requires identification of biosignatures, i.e., observable planetary properties that robustly indicate the presence of a biosphere. One of the most widely accepted biosignatures for an Earth-like planet is an atmosphere where oxygen is a major constituent. Here we show that lifeless habitable zone terrestrial planets around any star type may develop oxygen-dominated atmospheres as a result of water photolysis, because the cold trap mechanism that protects H 2 O on Earth is ineffective when the atmospheric inventory of non-condensing gases (e.g., N 2 , Ar) is low. Hence the spectral features of O 2 and O 3 alone cannot be regarded as robust signs of extraterrestrial life

  5. The Cassini-Huygens visit to Saturn an historic mission to the ringed planet

    CERN Document Server

    Meltzer, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Cassini-Huygens was the most ambitious and successful space journey ever launched to the outer Solar System. This book examines all aspects of the journey: its conception and planning; the lengthy political processes needed to make it a reality; the engineering and development required to build the spacecraft; its 2.2-billion mile journey from Earth to the Ringed Planet; and the amazing discoveries from the mission. The author traces how the visions of a few brilliant scientists matured, gained popularity, and eventually became a reality. Innovative technical leaps were necessary to assemble such a multifaceted spacecraft and reliably operate it while it orbited a planet so far from our own. The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft design evolved from other deep space efforts, most notably the Galileo mission to Jupiter, enabling the voluminous, paradigm-shifting scientific data collected by the spacecraft.  Some of these discoveries are absolute gems. A small satellite that scientists once thought of as a dead pi...

  6. In search of empty space: the Cluster mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnstone, Alan

    1990-01-01

    Using four spacecraft, orbiting the earth, in the formation of a regular tetrahedron, European scientists will study the auroras around the planet caused by variations in the Sun's magnetic field. These cluster satellites will also study supernovae from their interplanetary position and the plasma of space surrounding us on the Earth. A growing understanding of the plasma dynamics is hoped to assist in the study of nuclear fusion. (UK)

  7. The international space year: priorities and perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kondratyev, K.Y.

    1990-01-01

    Principal purposes of the international space year (ISY) have been discussed. In view of the increasing significance of ecological problems it is becoming clear that there have to be two key directions of the ISY programmes: 1) various problems relevant to the international geosphere-biosphere programme (global climate change, global biosphere dynamics, regional ecological problems: desertification, forest decline, acid rains etc); 2) comparative planetology. One of the most urgent problems is connected with the accomplishment of the 'mission to planet earth' which has to be based on the creation of an optimal global system of satellite and conventional ecological observations (especially for various typical ecosystems). Studies of the other planets have to be coordinated with requirements of further investigations in the field of the earth's ecology

  8. Impact on the earth, ocean and atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahrens, T.J.; O'Keefe, J.D.

    1987-01-01

    Several hundred impact craters produced historically and at times as early as 1.9 x 10/sup 9/ years ago with diameters in the range 10/sup -2/ to 10/sup 2/ km are observed on the surface of the earth. Earth-based and spacecraft observations of the surfaces of all the terrestrial planets and their satellites, as well as many of the icy satellites of the outer planets, indicated that impact cratering was a dominant process on planetary surfaces during the early history of the solar system. Moreover, the recent observation of a circumstellar disk around the nearby star, β-Pictoris, appears to be similar to the authors' own hypothesized protosolar disk. A disk of material around our sun has been hypothesized to have been the source of the solid planetesimals from which the earth and the other planets accreted by infall and capture. Thus it appears that the earth and the other terrestrial planets formed as a result of infall and impact of planetesimals. Although the present planets grew rapidly via accretion to their present size (in --10/sup 7/ years), meteorite impacts continue to occur on the earth and other planets. Until recently meteorite impact has been considered to be a process that was important on the earth and the other planets only early in the history of the solar system. This is no longer true. The Alvarez hypothesis suggests that the extinction of some 90% of all species, including 17 classes of dinosaurs, is associated with the 1 to 150 cm thick layer of noble-element rich dust which is found all over the earth exactly at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. The enrichment of noble elements in this dust is in meteorite-like proportions. This dust is thought to represent the fine impact ejecta from a --10 km diameter asteroid interacting with the solid earth. The Alvarez hypothesis associates the extinction with the physics of a giant impact on the earth

  9. Migration of accreting giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crida, A.; Bitsch, B.; Raibaldi, A.

    2016-12-01

    We present the results of 2D hydro simulations of giant planets in proto-planetary discs, which accrete gas at a more or less high rate. First, starting from a solid core of 20 Earth masses, we show that as soon as the runaway accretion of gas turns on, the planet is saved from type I migration : the gap opening mass is reached before the planet is lost into its host star. Furthermore, gas accretion helps opening the gap in low mass discs. Consequently, if the accretion rate is limited to the disc supply, then the planet is already inside a gap and in type II migration. We further show that the type II migration of a Jupiter mass planet actually depends on its accretion rate. Only when the accretion is high do we retrieve the classical picture where no gas crosses the gap and the planet follows the disc spreading. These results impact our understanding of planet migration and planet population synthesis models. The e-poster presenting these results in French can be found here: L'e-poster présentant ces résultats en français est disponible à cette adresse: http://sf2a.eu/semaine-sf2a/2016/posterpdfs/156_179_49.pdf.

  10. A Search for Lost Planets in the Kepler Multi-Planet Systems and the Discovery of the Long-Period, Neptune-Sized Exoplanet Kepler-150 f

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Fischer, Debra A.

    2017-01-01

    The vast majority of the 4700 confirmed planets and planet candidates discovered by the Kepler space telescope were first found by the Kepler pipeline. In the pipeline, after a transit signal is found, all data points associated with those transits are removed, creating a Swiss cheese-like light curve full of holes, which is then used for subsequent transit searches. These holes could render an additional planet undetectable (or lost). We examine a sample of 114 stars with 3+ confirmed planets to see the effect that this Swiss cheesing may have. A simulation determined that the probability that a transiting planet is lost due to the transit masking is low, but non-neglible, reaching a plateau at approximately 3.3% lost in the period range of P = 400 - 500 days. We then model the transits in all quarters of each star and subtract out the transit signals, restoring the in-transit data points, and use the Kepler pipeline to search the transit-subtracted (i.e., transit-cleaned) light curves. However, the pipeline did not discover any credible new transit signals. This demonstrates the validity and robustness of the Kepler pipelines choice to use transit masking over transit subtraction. However, a follow-up visual search through all the transit-subtracted data, which allows for easier visual identification of new transits, revealed the existence of a new, Neptune-sized exoplanet. Kepler-150 f (P = 637.2 days, RP = 3.86 R earth) is confirmed using a combination of false positive probability analysis, transit duration analysis, and the planet multiplicity argument.

  11. Earth scientists list top priorities for space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voosen, Paul

    2018-01-01

    Earth scientists hope a new priority setting effort will help them make the most of NASA's limited budget for satellite missions that watch over the planet. The so-called decadal survey, issued in January by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, laid out the community's consensus wish list, ranging from cloud monitoring to multiwavelength imaging—and recommends a strong dose of competition to keep costs down. The report prioritizes five observations for launch, including hyperspectral imaging, clouds, atmospheric particles, and missions to chart gravity variations and tiny crustal movements. It also advocates creating a new line of $350 million missions targeting seven observations, with competitions to choose three for flight in the next 10 years.

  12. H-atmospheres of Icy Super-Earths Formed In Situ in the Outer Solar System: An Application to a Possible Planet Nine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levi, A.; Kenyon, S. J.; Podolak, M.; Prialnik, D.

    2017-04-01

    We examine the possibility that icy super-Earth mass planets, formed over long timescales (0.1-1 Gyr) at large distances (˜200-1000 au) from their host stars, will develop massive H-rich atmospheres. Within the interior of these planets, high pressure converts CH4 into ethane, butane, or diamond and releases H2. Using simplified models that capture the basic physics of the internal structure, we show that the physical properties of the atmosphere depend on the outflux of H2 from the mantle. When this outflux is ≲ {10}10 molec cm-2 s-1, the outgassed atmosphere has a base pressure of ≲1 bar. Larger outflows result in a substantial atmosphere where the base pressure may approach 103-104 bar. For any pressure, the mean density of these planets, 2.4-3 g cm-3, is much larger than the mean density of Uranus and Neptune, 1.3-1.6 g cm-3. Thus, observations can distinguish between a Planet Nine with a primordial H/He-rich atmosphere accreted from the protosolar nebula and one with an atmosphere outgassed from the core.

  13. THE NASA-UC ETA-EARTH PROGRAM. I. A SUPER-EARTH ORBITING HD 7924

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Johnson, John Asher; Fischer, Debra A.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Isaacson, Howard; Wright, Jason T.; Henry, Gregory W.; Valenti, Jeff A.; Anderson, Jay; Piskunov, Nikolai E.

    2009-01-01

    We report the discovery of the first low-mass planet to emerge from the NASA-UC Eta-Earth Program, a super-Earth orbiting the K0 dwarf HD 7924. Keplerian modeling of precise Doppler radial velocities reveals a planet with minimum mass M P sin i = 9.26 M + in a P = 5.398 d orbit. Based on Keck-HIRES measurements from 2001 to 2008, the planet is robustly detected with an estimated false alarm probability of less than 0.001. Photometric observations using the Automated Photometric Telescopes at Fairborn Observatory show that HD 7924 is photometrically constant over the radial velocity period to 0.19 mmag, supporting the existence of the planetary companion. No transits were detected down to a photometric limit of ∼0.5 mmag, eliminating transiting planets with a variety of compositions. HD 7924b is one of only eight planets detected by the radial velocity technique with M P sin i + and as such is a member of an emerging family of low-mass planets that together constrain theories of planet formation.

  14. Earth's Rotation: A Challenging Problem in Mathematics and Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrándiz, José M.; Navarro, Juan F.; Escapa, Alberto; Getino, Juan

    2015-01-01

    A suitable knowledge of the orientation and motion of the Earth in space is a common need in various fields. That knowledge has been ever necessary to carry out astronomical observations, but with the advent of the space age, it became essential for making observations of satellites and predicting and determining their orbits, and for observing the Earth from space as well. Given the relevant role it plays in Space Geodesy, Earth rotation is considered as one of the three pillars of Geodesy, the other two being geometry and gravity. Besides, research on Earth rotation has fostered advances in many fields, such as Mathematics, Astronomy and Geophysics, for centuries. One remarkable feature of the problem is in the extreme requirements of accuracy that must be fulfilled in the near future, about a millimetre on the tangent plane to the planet surface, roughly speaking. That challenges all of the theories that have been devised and used to-date; the paper makes a short review of some of the most relevant methods, which can be envisaged as milestones in Earth rotation research, emphasizing the Hamiltonian approach developed by the authors. Some contemporary problems are presented, as well as the main lines of future research prospected by the International Astronomical Union/International Association of Geodesy Joint Working Group on Theory of Earth Rotation, created in 2013.

  15. Depolarization on Earth-space paths

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-01

    Sources of depolarization effects on the propagation paths of orthogonally-polarized information channels are considered. The main sources of depolarization at millimeter wave frequencies are hydrometeor absorption and scattering in the troposphere. Terms are defined. Mathematical formulations for the effects of the propagation medium characteristics and antenna performance on signals in dual polarization Earth-space links are presented. Techniques for modeling rain and ice depolarization are discussed.

  16. Scaling rates of true polar wander in convecting planets and moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Ian; Buffett, Bruce

    2017-12-01

    Mass redistribution in the convecting mantle of a planet causes perturbations in its moment of inertia tensor. Conservation of angular momentum dictates that these perturbations change the direction of the rotation vector of the planet, a process known as true polar wander (TPW). Although the existence of TPW on Earth is firmly established, its rate and magnitude over geologic time scales remain controversial. Here we present scaling analyses and numerical simulations of TPW due to mantle convection over a range of parameter space relevant to planetary interiors. For simple rotating convection, we identify a set of dimensionless parameters that fully characterize true polar wander. We use these parameters to define timescales for the growth of moment of inertia perturbations due to convection and for their relaxation due to true polar wander. These timescales, as well as the relative sizes of convective anomalies, control the rate and magnitude of TPW. This analysis also clarifies the nature of so called "inertial interchange" TPW events, and relates them to a broader class of events that enable large and often rapid TPW. We expect these events to have been more frequent in Earth's past.

  17. Prospects for detecting oxygen, water, and chlorophyll on an exo-Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Timothy D; Spiegel, David S

    2014-09-16

    The goal of finding and characterizing nearby Earth-like planets is driving many NASA high-contrast flagship mission concepts, the latest of which is known as the Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST). In this article, we calculate the optimal spectral resolution R = λ/δλ and minimum signal-to-noise ratio per spectral bin (SNR), two central design requirements for a high-contrast space mission, to detect signatures of water, oxygen, and chlorophyll on an Earth twin. We first develop a minimally parametric model and demonstrate its ability to fit synthetic and observed Earth spectra; this allows us to measure the statistical evidence for each component's presence. We find that water is the easiest to detect, requiring a resolution R ≳ 20, while the optimal resolution for oxygen is likely to be closer to R = 150, somewhat higher than the canonical value in the literature. At these resolutions, detecting oxygen will require approximately two times the SNR as water. Chlorophyll requires approximately six times the SNR as oxygen for an Earth twin, only falling to oxygen-like levels of detectability for a low cloud cover and/or a large vegetation covering fraction. This suggests designing a mission for sensitivity to oxygen and adopting a multitiered observing strategy, first targeting water, then oxygen on the more favorable planets, and finally chlorophyll on only the most promising worlds.

  18. Evaluating predictions of ICME arrival at Earth and Mars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Falkenberg, Thea Vilstrup; Taktakishvili, A.; Pulkkinen, A.

    2011-01-01

    We present a study of interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) propagation to Earth and Mars. Because of the significant space weather hazard posed by ICMEs, understanding and predicting their arrival and impact at Mars is important for current and future robotic and manned missions...... to the planet. We compare running ENLILv2.6 with coronal mass ejection (CME) input parameters from both a manual and an automated method. We analyze shock events identified at Mars in Mars Global Surveyor data in 2001 and 2003, when Earth and Mars were separated by...

  19. Programmable wide field spectrograph for earth observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamkotsian, Frédéric; Lanzoni, Patrick; Liotard, Arnaud; Viard, Thierry; Costes, Vincent; Hébert, Philippe-Jean

    2017-11-01

    In Earth Observation, Universe Observation and Planet Exploration, scientific return of the instruments must be optimized in future missions. Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS) could be key components in future generation of space instruments. These devices are based on the mature micro-electronics technology and in addition to their compactness, scalability, and specific task customization, they could generate new functions not available with current technologies. French and European space agencies, the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have initiated several studies with LAM and TAS for listing the new functions associated with several types of MEMS, and developing new ideas of instruments.

  20. Scattering of exocomets by a planet chain: exozodi levels and the delivery of cometary material to inner planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino, Sebastian; Bonsor, Amy; Wyatt, Mark C.; Kral, Quentin

    2018-06-01

    Exocomets scattered by planets have been invoked to explain observations in multiple contexts, including the frequently found near- and mid-infrared excess around nearby stars arising from exozodiacal dust. Here we investigate how the process of inward scattering of comets originating in an outer belt, is affected by the architecture of a planetary system, to determine whether this could lead to observable exozodi levels or deliver volatiles to inner planets. Using N-body simulations, we model systems with different planet mass and orbital spacing distributions in the 1-50 AU region. We find that tightly packed (Δap planets are the most efficient at delivering material to exozodi regions (5-7% of scattered exocomets end up within 0.5 AU at some point), although the exozodi levels do not vary by more than a factor of ˜7 for the architectures studied here. We suggest that emission from scattered dusty material in between the planets could provide a potential test for this delivery mechanism. We show that the surface density of scattered material can vary by two orders of magnitude (being highest for systems of low mass planets with medium spacing), whilst the exozodi delivery rate stays roughly constant, and that future instruments such as JWST could detect it. In fact for η Corvi, the current Herschel upper limit rules our the scattering scenario by a chain of ≲30 M⊕ planets. Finally, we show that exocomets could be efficient at delivering cometary material to inner planets (0.1-1% of scattered comets are accreted per inner planet). Overall, the best systems at delivering comets to inner planets are the ones that have low mass outer planets and medium spacing (˜20RH, m).

  1. Variations of the Earth's rotation rate and cyclic processes in geodynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.W. Levin

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The authors analyzed the relationship between variations of the Earth's rotation rate and the geodynamic processes within the Earth's body, including seismic activity. The rotation rate of a planet determines its uniaxial compression along the axis of rotation and the areas of various surface elements of the body. The Earth's ellipticity variations, caused naturally by the rotation rate variations, are manifested in vertical components of precise GPS measurements. Comparative analysis of these variations is considered in view of modern theoretical ideas concerning the Earth